Too many leaders are like David trying to face Goliath in King Saul’s armor.
Nearly 20 years ago Peter Drucker claimed that “successful careers are not planned. They develop when people are prepared for opportunities because they know their strengths, their method of work, and their values” (Harvard Business Review, March-April 1999, “Managing Oneself”).
Drucker maintained that the key is not planning for careers but preparing for opportunities.
Sounds simple doesn’t it?
- Know your strengths. What you’re good at. What gives you energy.
- Know how you perform. How you get things done.
- Know your values. Know the core of who you are.
The reality is that…
Most never engage the time or discipline to know their strengths.
Most never capture how they work.
Most never understand “what’s inside” that defines them.
Thus, lots of us disqualify ourselves of opportunities as if our résumé noted an asterisk for ineffective or unqualified.
Scott and Lori Rische lead PLI’s international work. Scott says:
“I frequently ask leaders to make a list of everything they do. They’ll make a list of 20 or 25 different things. I ask them to circle the things that fit their strengths. Sometimes they only circle two or three things. They suddenly understand why they lack joy and energy. Why they’re not particularly good at what they do. Why they’re not better respected as leaders.”
David courageously refused to be something that he wasn’t and he grabbed a sling, a staff, some stones and carried an unconquerable confidence: “The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.” 1 Samuel 17:37
So, here’s what I know:
- You won’t do this on your own. Find a trusted friend and ask them to help you discover your strengths and lead from them.
- Stop wearing someone else’s armor. Uncover who you’ve been uniquely created to be.
- Trust that God has you right where he wants you and has given you all you need to lead right now.