I was recently in a senior leadership meeting for an organization when one of the leaders became emotional when sharing her values and what was important in her life. She quickly apologized and mentioned that she had been working hard to not show emotion as she felt it was a sign of weakness. She did not want anyone in the organization to see her as weak.
Being vulnerable and showing emotion is NOT WEAK. To say it is a weakness is a LIE! It is just the opposite.
Illustrating that you are a real person by being vulnerable and transparent is a significant strength of a servant leader. Remember the shortest verse in the Bible?
Live Beyond the Lies
As a servant leader, you need to overcome the lies that you’ve been told about yourself and leadership. Some of the hardest hitting ones are the lies we believe about ourselves, so let’s debunk some of the most common of them:
• “Sharing my feelings makes me look weak.” True leaders share their feelings and vulnerabilities and in turn, their team understands and respects them even more.
• “Hiding weaknesses works.” Your team probably knows your weaknesses just as much as you do. Don’t hide from it; embrace them. Look for ways to improve and be upfront about your shortcomings. It will make you more approachable and your team will be all the more loyal when you’re honest about your imperfections.
• “I am in this alone and I have to figure it out myself.” Leadership can often feel lonely, but you cannot do it alone. Lean on Jesus and work to find a group of values-aligned individuals that can become a circle of support during the ups and downs.
• “God doesn’t care about my work.” God created you and has placed the desires in your heart. The work you do every day and the purpose you live out is innately given from Him. He loves you and cares deeply about your work!
• “I need to keep my work and faith separate.” Again, God has given you a purpose to live out and your work should be done with that in mind. For true fulfillment, you cannot separate the two. Your workplace is your mission field.
• “I am good enough.” Complacency is a slippery slope towards extinction. Don’t grow weary in making improvements every day and relying on Jesus to fulfill what we cannot.
We all wrestle with these lies that are set to attack our effectiveness as leaders. In next week’s post, I will share a few more of the most common lies you need to overcome to be the leader God created you to be.
As you go through the week, take note of the areas where these lies may be controlling you. Let me know of a leadership lie you are working to live beyond?
Jesus wept. John 11:35