Yesterday, a group of men and I hiked the Grand Canyon, I was completely exhausted. The journey set us out to embark twenty miles down and up the canyon with over 5000 feet in elevation. Midway through the adventure, one of our guys cramped up and needed to take breaks periodically. By periodically, I mean much more frequent than we had anticipated or planned. Hiking up the canyon took eleven hours to complete, yet we expected the hike to only take about eight hours. For anyone who knows my patience level, I was miserable to say the least. However, there is a gift in every situation, so some joys did present themselves. After the intense hike Jon and I enjoyed deep conversation about life and also leadership. Since we were hiking in complete darkness, with three miles left to go, our bodies and minds had surpassed their limits. We needed some leaders to step up.
The very next morning as I was rubbing “sore muscles rub” on my calves, my friend Jon asked me a great question. He asked, “Do your leaders admit their faults?”
The question was perplexing and it made me think. Immediately, I replied with “well if they don’t you are following the wrong people.” His question gave me a sense of thankfulness. I have great friends, that I would call “leaders who admit their faults a lot.” Even leaders that I do not know well, admit their faults. They are so secure in their identity that they don’t have to hide their shame or create a false façade, it is amazing!
For leaders that “have it all together”:
I used to think that showing signs of weakness would make me look weak, possibly unorganized. Why would someone want to follow me if I had weaknesses? Yet in that, I have realized something that I want you to hear. Creating a false façade or pretending that you have everything together gives a false security to others. This lie makes them think they can achieve it and possibly “have it all together too.” The results are unfair to both YOU and THEM. To develop a false sense of “having it all together” will only lead you to exhaustion, I say this from experience, I remember doing it myself. I grew really tired of it.
So I wanted to ask you three questions about people you admire or would consider leaders in your life.
1) Are your leaders authentic?
The way I personally describe Authentic would be, someone who is genuine and consistent in who they are despite their environment.
Are the people you admire, the same person consistently? How do your leaders treat people who can’t do anything for them? Authentic leaders are the best leaders because you know what to expect from them. You know who they are and that they are real. By real I mean they can admit when things aren’t going well and that things are not always perfect. This leads me to the next question.
2) Are the people you admire or follow admitting their faults regularly?
Anyone can pretend they have it all together and everything is “fine”, I just dont want to be one of those people. Nor do I want to follow them because it’s not possible all the time. The world needs people who can be real with their situations even if they don’t know all the answers right away. When you are vulnerable with others, it opens for them to be vulnerable with you. We can all grow the most when our walls are down.. If the leader is vulnerable so can others. If the leader sweeps everything under the rug it tells everyone around them to do the same. Let me ask you; what are we promoting as leaders on a daily basis? How would you assess yourself?
And let me even ask you if the world followed you around on a daily basis, would the world be better for it? That scares me sometimes and if I’m honest I would say “I am really glad the world does not follow me around today some days.”
3) Do they admit their dependence on God regularly?”
I used to think that success meant “Doing what I want, when I want, how often I want, whenever I want, with whomever I want” However, I have realized that success will never bring the freedom and joy that you think it would. Even that lifestyle gets old, trust me. We need something bigger than us and someone that is 100% steady all the time and something that never waivers, Jesus. I used to think I could always bring my own breakthrough in life but I just can’t. I can not do it all on my own strength nor my own wisdom. I also can not use the world to create my joy. I need a savior that I can lean on everyday and that loves me beyond measure.
I can’t out sin the love of God, I can’t out run the presence of God and I can’t out doubt the hope of God.
Though what WE CAN do, is we can STOP running and EMBRACE the three of those, His presence, His love, and his Hope. I want leaders who give God the Glory, who admit their dependence on God and that lead me to an ultimate freedom in Christ! No success book, motivational quote, you tube video can bring that to me on a permanent fixed basis. I want and need leaders that who constantly direct me to a rock and a shield, to a constant, to something this world can not give me, Jesus.
Are you following the right people? And where are they going, do you want to go there? Is there freedom and hope where they are going?
I want nothing but freedom and hope in your life. And i want you to know God is for you, not against you. Just like mold, shame grows best in the dark. I want you to be in the light and I want you to live a fruitful life. Leadership is an important part of that.