I have to be honest: I really, really miss the days when leaders were cool with just being called managers or leaders. You know, when people weren’t adding qualifiers to boost their
Today, instead of being managers, we’re leaders. But not just leaders, catalytic leaders. Visionary leaders with fireworks shooting out our rear-ends with every decision we make. (And not just because of the Taco Bell we ate at lunch.)
We get it, okay? You’re a big deal. You’ve got people skills, dag-nabbit!
But could you maybe shut up about it?
There’s a problem in leadership circles when you have to declare yourself a catalytic, visionary such-and-such with mad woo skills (which is just as creepy as it sounds). The problem is simple: you’re clearly not one.
Your vision is seen in what you’ve accomplished, not by what you say you’re doing.
Your ability to move people to action is less important than what action you’re calling them to.
Your charisma is less important than your character.
Who are we trying to kid, honestly? The more I think about it, the more I’m convinced it’s ourselves.
We want to be seen as important. We want to be seen as big deals. We have a brand to uphold and promote, after all. We want to matter… because, well, we are deeply insecure. We are unsure of our ability to lead faithfully, so we mask it in bravado. We are insecure in our relationship with Christ, so we look to our performance for comfort.
But it’s a little bit like a foodie blog operated by someone who only knows how to make Kraft Dinner. The disconnect is often obvious to everyone but us.
“Let another praise you, and not your own mouth,” says Proverbs 27:2, “a stranger, and not your own lips.” There’s a reason the Lord inspired these wise words. When we praise ourselves, we reveal our insecurity.
But, brothers (and sisters, too!), we do not need to be insecure. The fruits of our labors will be apparent to all in time, if they are not already. And in time, if the fruit is good, the lips of another will praise our efforts. So we don’t need to!
Leader, let another praise you. Worry less about calling yourself a catalyst or a visionary. Vision and charisma is fleeting, and your security is not in those things anyway.