Integrity is essential for leadership credibility. And for many leaders the starting point of losing integrity is when they stop being honest with themselves.
When you lead an organization, team or church all eyes are on you. The success and progress of your organization is strangely intertwined with your significance and self-esteem. This is what makes it difficult for us to be honest with ourselves. There are times when things are not going as well as we like. The organization is in decline, resources are drying up or people are jumping ship. And instead of looking at the cold hard facts we try to convince ourselves that everything is okay. We find excuses for why things are not going well and worse we even put a spin to make it look like these things are positive.
I was talking with the church planter one day who told me about all the people leaving his church. He put a positive slant on it by saying, “You know we are just blessed to be sending people out.” But from everything I could discern people were leaving because he was not a leader others wanted to follow. When a leader is not honest with himself he will continue down the road of mediocrity which ultimately leads to failure.
When we’re not honest with ourselves…
- we fail to grow in essential areas that help us improve as leaders
- we lose credibility and influence with our followers
- we’re unable to move into a place of fruitfulness and fulfillment
- we hinder the work God wants to do in our own development
Remember Paul’s words in Romans 12:3 “Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us.” Take some time and ask yourself a few questions:
- How are things going, really?
- Are there excuses I’ve been making for poor performance or unacceptable results?
- Am I fruitful and fulfilled in what I am doing? If no, then why not?
- Am I using my God-given gifts? What’s the evidence of that?
- Am I excited about the future? If no, why not?
- Am I actively listening for the promptings of the Holy Spirit?
- Do I feel challenged by the work that I do or have i grown stale?
The man who is honest with himself about himself will walk in humility and gain greater respect among men.