While working today, I was reminded of this important reality, in life and certainly in leadership… knowing your limitations.
As I came up in my career, I had started out really not knowing anything about genuine, servant leadership. The only model I had come to know was having my own business, being an employer, and having to learn the in’s and out’s of doing business…. skills.
In retrospect, I see that I was insecure even back then and threatened by people who actually knew more than me, or people who were successful. Everyone was a rival. This of course is PRIDE. And pride always comes before destruction, one way or the other. In these days, retaliation was one of my tactics.
Then later on, when I had come to Faith, and joined New York City Relief, I was thrust in a new culture and environment in which I was there to serve, which I genuinely wanted to do, but I brought my old model into this new culture. I needed to be transformed by the renewing of my mind.
This would prove to be a difficult road as the levels of threat were greater than ever in my mind. I wanted to impress my leader at the time, more than God. Whenever pleasing a human is more important than serving God with a right heart, you’re in trouble. Proverbs tells us that “fear of others opinions is a trap.” Indeed, I was trapped.
I was competing with certain people who had better ideas than me. I was a hyper controller trying to get others to do everything I said so I could look good. But there was another hidden area of pride that would surface.
I would make decisions that would put me “out there” and others as well, without knowing what I was actually doing. I wanted to look smarter, more important, save face, etc. I went beyond my limitations as I couldn’t;t admit I had them, because I didn’t want to look inferior, or stupid, incapable.
This lead to many wrong choices and decisions. I overstepped boundaries. I made decisions where I had n business making them and would get reprimanded. When it came to leading people, I didn’t realize that I was using them for my own advancement. It took a massive revelation from God to help me overcome this area of insecurity.
In order to get rid of this dangerous behavior, you’ll need to know who you actually are. I was young in the process of spiritually and emotionally maturing and I wanted to be something that I actually would become, but I wanted to make it happen myself, and in my own time. I never really believed I had the goods so I was a poser, faker, and wannabe. But I didn’t have to be.
God already know what He had in store for me. He knew the plans He had, I didn’t. But I learned to lay down my fears, insecurities and let Him have His way with me. This was very uncomfortable, (growing pains), but He has taken me where He wanted.
Now I train people in leadership… leading from the inside out, because the other way just isn’t the way we are designed to lead. First we have to follow Him, and the leaders He puts in our paths.
One thing I learned is that there is one thing God does not do very well… follow. He leads. I need to learn to follow and submit.