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7 Guideposts To Lead Yourself Well

lead yourself

Why is it that leading ourselves can be more difficult than leading others?

It doesn’t make sense, but we know it’s true.

The idea is not unlike a doctor who doesn’t take care of herself or himself physically. Or a landscaper with a rundown yard, or an auto mechanic that doesn’t change the oil in his car.

They know the right thing to do, but don’t do it.

Peter Drucker said: “Being a self-leader is to serve as chief, captain, president or CEO of one’s own life.”

That speaks directly to personal responsibility, and taking responsibility for yourself is at the core of self-leadership. Andy Stanley adds further insight with this quote.

A person’s irresponsibility will always become someone else’s responsibility. (Andy Stanley)

It is clear that the surest way to lead others better is to lead yourself better first.

Self-awareness is the beginning of self-leadership.
(You’ll see that thread throughout this post.)

7 Guideposts

1. Pursue Character Over Success.

The pursuit of success in your ministry is a normal and healthy desire as long as it never compromises your character. And always remember that the pressures of ministry can tempt you to behave in ways you wouldn’t otherwise behave.

The imperfection of our humanity is not an excuse to dabble in sin.

There are no perfect leaders, and thankfully God’s grace is abundant. Yet, the little missteps and seemingly small character slip-ups can open the door to leadership damaging behavior.

We should live in freedom, not paranoid of making a mistake, but the point is that self-leadership of your character is of utmost importance in the life of a spiritual leader.

The reason self-leadership of your character is so important, is that no one else can do that but you.

2. Establish Life Boundaries by Your Personal Values.

Your personal values, the things you hold most dear and important, form something like the banks of a river that guide the flow of your life. They inform your decisions and subsequent actions.

When a river overflows its banks it can do considerable damage. In the same way, the lack of boundaries in our daily lives is a recipe for disaster. For example, in current culture one of the most prevalent concerns is—how much is enough? Boundaries help you answer that question.

Your values might be things such as faith, health, family, growth etc. The list should be a short collection of the non-negotiables that constitute the framework of how you think and behave.

  • What are the values that guide your life?
  • Do they ring true with Scripture?
  • Has God affirmed them in your life?

3. Cultivate Humble Confidence in Your Leadership.

Humble confidence reduced to the most basic elements is the combination of belief that God is with you and belief in yourself.

Humility comes from knowing how desperately you need God and belief in yourself is required to lead with confidence. If you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will either.