Leaders are often reluctant to acknowledge and accept their weaknesses.
I can understand that. I’m often reluctant too. I’m trained to “overcome” my weaknesses and lead out of my strength, and that things like resilience and discipline are core to successful leadership. I agree. It makes sense, God gave you and I unique gifts, strengths, passion and ability so we can lead out our calling at our best.
That is the aim, to lead at our best in alignment with God’s plan, but it might be a shortsighted aim if we don’t understand how weakness fits in. And if so, we’ll miss the real target of our fullest potential.
Weakness is part of humanity. There is no escaping that truth.
And God uses it for His glory and our good.
As leaders we have limitations. Most of us are reluctant to accept them, but that doesn’t make them any less real. In fact, that usually makes our limitations a greater liability and ultimately short-changes our leadership potential.
A weakness or limitation is different than being a weak person or a limited leader. It’s an acknowledgement of your humanity and gives you clues to how God wants to use you.
The chinks in your armor allow you to develop empathy and compassion. They give you insight to human nature. They help you genuinely connect with people. Without these things it’s difficult to lead with God’s heart.
The truth is, we rarely find our fullest potential as a leader outside of pain, some failure, and a connected sense of our own suffering.
The apostle Paul wrote about his own experience.
Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:8-10)
There is something we need to acknowledge here.
God never intended for our weakness to become permission for excuses, but to remind us that He is the true source of our strength.
Weakness Becoming Strength:
1. Get Honest About Your Weakness and Accept It as Something God Wants to Use.
What is your weakness?
What is your struggle?
Where do you get stuck?
It’s important that you know.
It would be virtually impossible to list every specific possibility, but what might your main category be? Here are a few examples.
- Lack of confidence: Such as doubting and second guessing yourself, or like fear of risk.
- Insecurity: Perhaps the narrative about your family of origin. Or past hurts.
- Pleasing people or performance for approval: This changes things, like how you make or don’t make decisions and how you establish priorities.
- Your emotions get the best of you: This is common. Anger, discouragement, frustration saps the strength from you and can push people away.
- Anxiety: Not a clinical level struggle, but that low-grade anxiousness or common anxieties that rob your peace and joy. There’s a subtle uneasiness in your gut.