(This month’s To The Point is an excerpt from Dr. Steve Brown’s new book, Leading Me – Eight Practices for a Christian Leader’s Most Important Assignment)
Remember the Parable of the Sower? There was some seed that was snatched before it even started to grow, some that grew in rocky places but soon died without roots and some that grew about the thorns but was choked before it matured. Finally, there was some in the good soil that grew and produced 30, 60, and 100 times what was sown.
Over the last couple of decades I’ve seen this parable lived out over and over, in hundreds of lives. My heart has been broken when I have watched dear friends, fellow Christ-followers and gifted leaders who seem to have been spiritually snatched, scorched or choked. This list is far too long. Thankfully, I know that God isn’t done yet with them—or with me, for that matter.
My heart has also been buoyed and inspired by those who continue to persevere, to grow and to see an exponential harvest of fruit produced in and through their lives. After all, God desires to see us bear much fruit. In teaching about the vine and the branches, Jesus said, “This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples” (John 15:8).
By God’s grace and for God’s glory, I would like to be a part of this last group. My desire is to live a life that will bear much fruit. My prayer is to finish well. I’d like to grow to maturity, persevere through adversity and leave a legacy of fruitful impact for God’s kingdom.
I’ve just written a book called Leading Me – Eight Practices for a Christian Leader’s Most Important Assignment to help Christian leaders take practical steps toward this kind of life. This is a book about an often overlooked and underestimated kind of leadership – personal leadership.
Whatever your role or title, personal leadership is your first leadership responsibility. First and foremost, this means intentionally partnering with God and others to become the whole person he created and desires us to be.
At its core, personal leadership isn’t about leading others or guiding organizations. It’s a personal focus to nurture a dynamic and intimate relationship with God. It’s about cultivating godly character that leads to long-term holiness and health. Personal leadership is also about developing deep, vibrant relationships and fostering the heart, calling and skills for effective impact through service.
How you lead yourself – personal leadership – is the prerequisite for all other leadership. Neglecting your personal leadership can unravel everything. The news provides examples of this reality in daily stories of gifted, talented and experienced team or organizational leaders who are disqualified and cause significant damage to those around them because of poor personal leadership.
Leading yourself well is also an act of stewardship. It helps prevent you from becoming a bottleneck and prepares you for future opportunities. If you lead yourself well, other people will take notice and doors will open.
We never “arrive” in our personal leadership. Whoever you are and whatever you do, you are responsible to lead yourself today and everyday. In fact, the more responsibility you have for leading others and leading organizations, the more intentional personal leadership is required.
What’s your most important leadership assignment today? It’s you. What’s one practical step you can take today to lead yourself well?
To The Point,
Dr. Steve A. Brown
You can pre-order your copy of Leading Me – Eight Practices for a Christian Leader’s Most Important Assignment today at www.leadingmebook.com A 20% PRE-ORDER DISCOUNT IS AVAILABLE TO MARCH 30.