For me, if leadership in an organization or a family does nothing else, it forces an individual to take a deep inward inspection. When in a leadership role, if leadership is taken seriously, one realizes how much is at stake. This results in key moments when the reality hits, “Oh my goodness. This takes a deeper well of wisdom, courage or skill than what I have.” And, the further you go in leadership the higher the responsibilities and stakes are; therefore, the more often this reality hits.
I had two video coaching calls with organizational leaders on Tuesday; one in Minot, N.D., and one in Salt Lake City, Utah. They both are talented, energetic, passionate young leaders with significant leadership weight and obstacles to overcome. Later in the day, as I thought back on their situations, I paused and prayed for them. I was also reminded of something God taught me early on in my days at Prairie Heights. I will share it with you today.
To navigate the challenges of leadership or being great at your job or to complete a responsibility well, there are three characteristics you must have: confidence, competence and character. All three are crucial. They are the necessary ingredients to help you get from where you are to where you want to go.
Here is a great blessing and opportunity: If you are a person of faith in Christ, God is actively involved in building all three characteristics. I have watched countless numbers of individuals unsuccessfully try to develop these apart from God.
My confidence comes from Christ. David proclaims in Psalm 122, “I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” In Philippians 4:13, Paul boldly and humbly states, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” I am not a self-made man. My confidence does not come from my limited abilities but God’s extraordinary capabilities.
My competence is found in Christ. John writes in John 15 that Jesus said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” My competence will come crashing down if I do not remain connected to the vine. God has poured talents, strengths, experiences, personality and resources into us. We must partner with God to develop them, but apart from him we will not reach our maximum potential. Apart from God I do not have what it takes in many areas of my life.
Stormin’ Norman Schwarzkopf said, “Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without strategy.” I think he is right. The “smell” of character, good or bad, lingers for generations. My character is developed as I journey with Christ. Paul in Philippians 1 is extremely confident of this: “he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Wow, that is so encouraging to me. I am not a finished product.
With my confidence from Christ, competence in Christ, character with Christ I am ready to grow and lead forward! God bless you!
Hauser is the founding and senior pastor at Prairie Heights Community Church in Fargo-Moorhead and can be reached at www.jonhauser.com