Imagine being on the front row of a large stadium watching runners prepare for a long, grueling race. Completing the race will require great endurance and peak physical conditioning.

One of the runners catches your eye. He is adding weights to his ankles, wrists, and back. Then you watch with bewilderment as he then chains additional weight to his waist. At the signal, he takes his place in the starting block.

The other runners look prepared, but are carrying no additional weight. You are certain the runner will lose against the trained competition. The reason is obvious. The runner has made it harder on himself than he has to. He is caring burdens he doesn’t need to carry. And because of it, the race will be harder. And in the end, he will certainly lose.

Leadership is a similar exercise. The skill of influencing and guiding others to execute while caring for vital relationships is a long, often grueling task. But some make it harder than it has to be. 

The king who wrote Proverbs gave his son a useful tip to prepare him for leadership when he wrote ” for the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught.” (Proverbs 3:26)

The wise king knew if his son put his confidence in the Lord, it would make him a better leader.  The upside down business idea is this: When leaders are secure in their relationship with God, it frees them to lead to their full potential.

A leader whose confidence is in God is free to be self-aware.  Knowing your strengths and weaknesses can be intimidating. Don’t let your confidence be on a mirage you’ve painted in your mind. Enthusiastically learn what your gifts are. But don’t guess or assume. Get robust feedback and assessments to deliver you an accurate picture. 

A leader whose confidence is in God is free to be honest.  Leaders lie when they fear the impact of truth. Leaders who are confident in God know the truth is the path forward. You don’t have to hide behind a sham. You don’t have to fear being found out. The best leaders know their vulnerability and transparency is a strength.

A leader whose confidence is in God is free to be humble. When you no longer cling to a title, you can lead with great effect. When your identity is not chained to a position, you will focus on the mission with great clarity and energy. The best leaders seek results over a title and take more pleasure in responsibility than a privilege

A leader whose confidence is in God is free to be content. It’s excellent and expected for leaders to be ambitious. But a leader will maximize their potential when their contentedness fights off doubt and desperation. Confidence in God will allow a leader to rest in God’s direction, provision, and timing.

Train hard. Prepare relentlessly. Learn all you can. But trust God. Your leadership will find great success.

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