Lately I’ve been thinking more about leadership. The roles that other people have that we often tend to pinpoint everyone else for, before ourselves. In the last few months I have found myself listening to leadership podcasts, participating in professional development workshops and taking more notice of how others lead. I have also found myself reviewing my areas of leadership more intentionally, the way I lead, who I lead and how I can do this better in my job and other areas of my life.
Let me be clear here, at the beginning of this year, looking closer and deeper at leadership was not on my radar. My Bible reading had taken on a huge shift in January and I was now going through the 4 Gospels every month to be covered in the dust of my Rabbi Jesus. This impacted areas or my life I thought I had moved through. Areas of forgiveness that I thought had been done, were some of the big ones still undone! Immersing myself in these four books revealed more about Rabbi Jesus than I had known. The ultimate leader – the ultimate servant.
One thing that has become very obvious while learning more about leadership, and reaffirmed in leadership podcasts by Andy Stanley, is this: Good leaders are very good at self-evaluation, working through their weaknesses and dealing with their stuff. And they need to be good at this to be good leaders. The thing about leadership we often don’t realise is that we are all leading someone. Whether in our families, coaching a team, or walking alongside someone at work, our friends or acquaintances. We all have the capacity to lead.
This artwork “Fracture” depicts facets, or masks we can wear that cover up the ugly parts, the difficult parts of us that we try to hide from. Not just from the world, but from ourselves. The consequences of the layers, or masks often being more obvious to people around us, long before we are willing or able to look inwardly at ourselves to see what we are hiding from, or refusing to deal with. It is the hidden things that make leading others difficult, or even impossible. And if we are in leadership roles while carrying such baggage that we aren’t working through, is it possible to give it our best? Faking it until you make it, won’t cut it in the long game.
I can assure you that living with masks that fracture us is not part of God’s game plan for your life. The layering of masks and the fractures it creates effects our peace, leaves us unsettled and robs us of our joy. It can leave us acting one way with one person or group of people and a different way with others and the more we try to hide, the more fractured and broken we become. But it is in the brokenness that great works can and do begin. It is here that God can start to take down the masks that hide the person underneath desiring to be free. The person God intended you to be. It is here that our fear can be turned into peace as we lean into God and seek him in the painful parts we are hiding from and find healing. Great leaders started in the same place as the rest of us, the difference is, they continue to work on and through their stuff.
What are the masks that fracture you from being congruent with others and yourself? What is preventing you from being the leader God calls you to be?