Probing Question

Erik Cooper —  March 12, 2009 — 1 Comment

Here’s a hard question.  If you’re a leader (and I dare say all of you are in one way or another), are you driven more by helping those you lead or by impressing them?  Do you view your position through the lens of what you can do for others, or are you addicted to what you need from them?  Leadership is an incredible responsibility, but like a any old drug addict, the role that should be seen as an humble honor can easily become our own personal ego fix.

Pastor, teacher, business owner, mother, mentor, coach, grandfather, community organizer…you name it. Help or impress?  What’s driving you?

One response to Probing Question

  1. I suppose it depends. Isn’t that the greatest way out of a question like this? 🙂 It’s a good question to get at the heart of our motivations. It’s made me think.

    I generally think that attempting to impress people is a waste of time. People are fickle and what pleases them today will upset them tomorrow. I think that’s what Jesus was talking about in John 2:24 when folks were fawning all over Him because of His miracles. He said He didn’t entrust themselves to them because He understood what man was really like. Life has taught me this truth, BUT… if I’m honest, I’m part of the humanity Jesus wouldn’t entrust Himself to.

    I’m subject to the same ego driven temptations we all are and on occasion I’m tempted to say or behave in a way that I think would impress someone I respect or want respect from. I don’t think it’s the norm for me, though. The privilege to speak into someone’s life comes with a measure of power and influence. I don’t want to be responsible for saying something ego driven that in the end brings harm to another when they act on my advice.

    I think my best defense against leading to impress is prayer. When you really pray for someone you get God’s heart for them, and it stops being about you and your ego. You’ll lead to help because you’ll be leading from the heart of God.

    Maybe you could spend some time waxing eloquently about choosing to wear a mantle of leadership, period. 🙂

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