4 Steps to Regaining Perspective as a Leader

“The key is being willing to do something because it matters, not because it will get you noticed.”

John Maxwell from The 360 Degree Leader

What’s your motive for leadership?

I’ll admit.. I easily fall into the trap of desiring leadership because I want the attention and the accolades that I perceive come with it.

But that’s not what leadership is about.  There will never be enough attention, accolades or praise to satisfy the sacrifice that leadership requires.  We have to be willing to lead because it matters.  If praise or acknowledgment never came our way, we need to be content because we know that what we did mattered.

I suspect that most of us start out with healthy motives for leadership.  I think we aspire to leadership because we believe that what we’re passionate about leading matters.

But then we drift…

towards entitlement

into unmet expectations

into exhaustion, impatience, frustration

And before long we’re not leading because it matters.  We’re leading to prove ourselves, to get attention.

We lose sight of our driving motivation and we lose our way.

When I sense that I’ve lost my way as a leader, here are some things I do to reconnect with the motive that matters:

1) Repent.  Pray for forgiveness for misdirected desires and ask God to reconnect my heart to the reason why I wanted to lead.  What is the cause that I believe mattered enough to give my best to?

2) Rest.  Poor motives usually follow poor rhythms of rest, sabbath and rejuvenation.

3) Regroup.  Connect with friends and mentors who can remind me of my calling and purpose.

4) Reengage.  Get back in the game with fresh perspective and renewed energy.


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