Lead Strong

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You can’t be whoever you want to be. Whoops, was that a little too rough for the first sentence? If you said yes, then we already have something in common. We both have a dream to be more than we are right now. We both find ourselves believing that the best version of ourselves isn’t happening right now. Maybe you believe that the best version of yourself is found one step closer to acting like your boss. If you aren’t as lucky, maybe you believe the best version of yourself is one step further from your boss. Regardless, leadership has a habit of creating potholes that we fall into because we were too busy looking at someone else’s path rather than our own. I read a book recently called Strengths Finder 2.0 in preparation for a leadership talk at my church’s student ministry leadership retreat. I was given the challenge of energizing our volunteers to lead through their strengths. It was in the midst of this research that I stumbled upon the leadership altering nuggets that I want to share with you. This has changed the way I lead and the way I see myself as a leader. I believe that they have the same potential if you embrace them. The team at Gallup published this book to help leaders recognize the value in calling out what is already in them. Here is the premise of their entire book, “You cannot be anything you want to be, but you can be a whole lot more of who you already are.” At Gallup, their team believes that the best way to lead is through your strengths. In fact, they have boiled strengths down to a simple equation rather than a wordy definition.

STRENGTHS = TALENT  x  INVESTMENT

So, strengths do not come naturally. However, we tend to believe this when looking at other leaders. Think about it: out of all of the people you follow and desire to be more like, how many of them have only been in the ministry game for a year or two? Likely none of them! They are the way they are because they have invested in their talents. No matter how much we convince ourselves we believe this, there is still a twinge of hope that we will find success overnight. However, victory comes when you begin to find joy in the process. After all, leadership is a lifelong process, not a pinnacle to shoot for and then lie down on once we reach it. So, play along with me here for a few minutes. What is your biggest weakness as a leader (examples: strategy, empathy, communication)? Got it? Good. Now, rank that on a scale of 1-10. Here is what your strength capacity now looks like even if you invest ALL your energy in it.

STRENGTH (20) = TALENT (2) x INVESTMENT (10)

As leaders, we all have areas we want to be strong in that we aren’t. Many of these areas are desired because of how they appear to those around us. For example, communication. What if you are extremely talented strategically but choose to spend most of your time investing in communication instead. Not only are you shortchanging yourself, but you are shortchanging others and hurting your organization.

1) How do you hurt yourself? You waste time trying to reach someone else’s potential when you refuse to lead through your strengths. I know other people’s strengths look more fun, but yours are the most effective. You can only operate at 100% in YOUR strength’s zone.

 

 

2) How do you hurt others? If you are too busy trying to operate in someone else’s lane, you are taking up space and preventing them from achieving their highest potential. If you are currently operating in a strength’s zone that one of your volunteers can flourish in, you are preventing them from getting there.

 

 

3)How do you hurt your church? Your church is depending on us you lead through your strengths so that you can flourish and those you lead can flourish. The two previous “how do you’s” can create a catapult of momentum or a roadblock of hindrance in your organization. Which one will you choose?

You cannot be anything you want to be, but you can be a WHOLE LOT MORE of who God made you to be. What talent zone in your life do you have a WHOLE LOT more room to grow in? Well get out of someone else’s lane, hop right into your own, and start running. You will be amazed how much quicker YOU can start running.  

 
   

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