Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Leadership Q & A @CC LifeCoaching
Part II

Yesterday I began a leadership series from a Q & A that I did with our Celebration Life Coaching group last week.  Our time together went so well I thought I'd share what we talked about here on the blog.  Here we go with Part II ~

Question:  What steps can I take to gain self confidence to feel qualified and to inspire others?


First of all, self confidence and qualification are two different issues.  Let me speak first about qualification.

There are times that people who have been doing things for many years don’t feel qualified.  It’s sort of like feeling worthy.  People will say, “I feel so unworthy.”  Don’t we all?  And if we don’t we probably need to repent.

God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the call.

Also it’s probably a bad idea to just take on roles you feel qualified to do.  It will be way too boring.  I have never taken a job I felt qualified to do.  If you feel totally qualified to do a job when you accept it, there's nothing to work toward - no challenge, and you will get tired of that very quickly.


Now as far as confidence goes, as Christian leaders our confidence comes from our identity and authority in Christ.  If you have a confidence problem you haven’t yet identified (at least firmly) who you are in God and what you have the power to do, also in Him.

Study and learn all you can about your identity as a believer and the power that is available to you through Him who has called you.

Question:  How do I overcome the initial feeling of "that's not me!" when presented with an opportunity to be a leader? How do I overcome those feelings of inadequacy, and the idea that others might also question my ability to lead? I have confidence in my ability to do quality work, yet somehow feel unqualified to be the leader. I've always preferred to be on the "support team," i.e., in the background. I've often attributed this to shyness; it's probably closer to fear.
 
First of all there is nothing wrong with being on the support team.  Sometimes you are a leader in one world and a member of the support team on another.  Both roles are needed.  I’m in a dual capacity right now in my life.  And it gives me perspective from both vantage points.

If you always have an initial feeling of “that’s not me” you may not have a proper perspective of your identity in Christ or your ability in Him, or on the other hand what you are being presented with may not be your passion.  It’s important to identify what’s going on.  If something isn’t your passion it isn’t for you long term although we have all fulfilled roles short term because there is a need.  

I have already covered how to deal with feeling of inadequacy.  As far as others who may question your ability to lead, let me say that when anyone has ever said that I'm unqualified I make a move to take them by the hand and in the sincerest most loving voice possible I say, "you're right, I'm unqualified.  I sure could use your prayers.  Thank the Lord, it's not me that qualifies myself for this role, but God who has called me.  I'm grateful for prayer warriors like you who understand the magnitude of the task I face and will be faithful to pray for me."  They are pretty much speechless after that.  Also...

When people have questioned my ability it has always strengthened me because I work harder at honing my skills.  If people question your qualifications, don’t shrink back and quit  - determine to become sharper.  A lady in my church in Maryland used to mercilessly criticize my preaching, not just to me but to anybody who would listen.  I owe a lot of my improvements to her.  Refuse to quit just because someone thinks you’re unqualified.  As to whether I was incapable or unqualified back then – no.  That lady was quite truthfully dealing with some issues of jealousy and other things but I took the shred of truth in her comments and determined to become a better preacher.  There's a shred of truth in every lie.  Although that woman was a thorn in my flesh and was mostly spouting lies and toxic criticism, I took any shred of truth I could find in her words and determined to become better at what I do.  I listened to cassette tape after cassette tape of my speaking, and evaluated myself after each message to see what I could have done better.  When we transitioned to Florida and I reflected on the previous nine years I realized I owed a lot of my "next level" to my thorn in my flesh. In fact I even ended up writing a song about it called, "Thanks for my next level!"  I'm better today because I chose to consider her words and be shaped by them rather than broken by them.  I could have chosen "bitter" but I chose "better."  There is blessing in choosing better.

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