Here’s a little known fact about me. I once wanted to be known as the life of the party.
People who know me well might say I’m funny and quick-witted. I’m actually kind of silly at times, but people seldom see the real me. My family knows this about me. Occasionally the people I work with get to see who I really am. Except for occasional bursts of randomness, however, the rest of the world thinks I’m always serious and always thinking about something purposeful.
I have had to come to the realization that I’m an introvert and, in crowded settings where I don’t know people well, I most often shut down the “wilder” side of me.
But there’s an important leadership principle here.
Knowing who you are is the first step to becoming a person of influence.
I can’t be who I am not. I simply can’t. I can try, and I have many times, but it won’t work long-term.
In my years of experience, I have learned that, unless I am on stage or in a controlled setting where I have time to prepare, I cannot wow a room. I shouldn’t even try. That will be someone else in the room. My influence will be used in other ways. (That’s one reason blogging has worked well for me.)
Knowing yourself, your strengths and weaknesses, passions and goals, helps form your life. It helps you accel where you are best suited to accel. It helps you lead as you can best lead. It keeps you from wasting energy on being who you are not designed to be. It helps you be an influencer where you are best suited to influence.
People who try too hard to be someone they are not end up living with disappointment. They waste their energy. They burnout. They flounder. And they are never really as successful as they could be.
Leader, if you want to establish your influence on a larger scale the key may be for you to stop trying to be everyone else and be who God created you to be.
Who are you? Have you become comfortable with how God has wired you?