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Good Leaders Know Who They Are – And Who They Are Not

Good leaders know who they are and, perhaps equally important, who they are not.

Here’s a little known fact about me: People who know me well might say I am quick-witted and can even be funny. Yet, most people seldom see that side of 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 strategic or purposeful.

For example, I had to come to the realization that as an introvert in settings where I don’t know people well, I most often shut down the “fun” side of me.

But that’s the important leadership principle here.

Good leaders know who they are and who they are not.

I can’t be who I am not. At times, I can try, and I have many times, but it doesn’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. And I shouldn’t even try. That will come from 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 leadership and influence. It helps you excel where you are best suited to excel. Also, 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. Consequently, they waste their energy. It often leads to burnout. 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 to stop trying to be everyone else and be who God created you to be.

Check out my leadership podcast where we discuss issues of leadership nuggets in a practical way. Plus, check out the other Lifeway Leadership Podcasts.

Ron Edmondson

Author Ron Edmondson

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