How would you define you in five words or less? When we started our international leadership journey over 20 years ago, that would have been impossible to do. We were ready to change the world but had no idea how to do that, much less know who we were.
As a young leader, full of energy and passion, I was in the fast lane to accomplish my vision. Each morning I woke up with renewed focus and pursued my agenda to accomplish greatness and success at all cost. That was my unspoken and underling motive in serving God. Everything seemed to be for His glory, but much was actually for my glory.
I wanted to prove to God that I was worthy of Him calling me out of darkness and placing me into His wonderful light. I had to show Him that He did not make a mistake with me, and that I would not be like the others who had burned out or been burned by the error of sin.
International leadership and foreign ministry is a big enough challenge in itself. Add to that the insecurity of feeling like you need to provide more “bang for the buck” to your supporters. Or even feeling like your life is more about proving something to others, and even to yourself, than loving the Lord and loving your neighbor.
One of the great lessons I learned along the way was to ask the right questions to the right people. Most leaders are fearful of asking the right questions and even more fearful of asking them to the right people. The answers may be something they do not want to hear. Asking the right questions and listening to the answers from the right person may require humility.
Some right questions to ask yourself as a leader are: Why do I do what I do? Who am I doing it for? By asking the right questions I can maintain my personal integrity, improve my leadership effectiveness, and stay in the realm of my calling and gifting. By asking the right questions I learn stay in my lane and accomplish my calling. What questions are you asking?
The right people to ask are those who those who have done or are successfully doing something similar to what you have a passion and a calling to do. Your calling is so unique, that no one else will do things that you will, but there are people who do something similar.
John Maxwell has never written a book like me, and I ever never written a book like him. However, he was the first one I went to before I ever wrote my first book on leadership in a third world nation. According to Inc. Magazine he is the world’s number one leadership guru. His life, insight and His organizations have answered my questions for over 20 years.
Another right person I looked to at the beginning of my ministry was Wayne Myer, a missionary with over 70 years of experience. I asked questions, listened to his answers, and received insight I could never had gained on my own. These two men and other key friends have helped me ask the right questions to the right people.
So, how would I define myself in five words or less? After 20 years, I’ve got it down to four words: Add value to others.