Leaders Know Themselves
November 1, 2016
by Lovett H. Weems, Jr. Leaders can err in two directions. Many begin with themselves as if “I am the beginning point of leadership,” to the exclusion of the group and the mission. These leaders are preoccupied with “my values, my ideas, my style.” However, some leaders go to the other extreme and seem utterly out of touch with themselves.
People have a right to expect of their leaders a maturity that comes from healthy self-knowledge.Those who become the most effective leaders are persons who understand themselves and accept themselves. They do not operate out of myths about themselves. Nor are they constantly working out their unrealistic self-images on others. Much of their freedom and power comes from this self-knowledge. People have a right to expect of their leaders a maturity that comes from healthy self-knowledge. Michael Cavanaugh puts it this way: A violin is a musical instrument that is both sensitive and strong. It is sensitive in that it is affected by the slightest touch, and it is strong because its strings can withstand a good deal of pressure. A violin must be continually and properly tuned to be played well, for if it is not, even the finest violinist cannot call forth beautiful music from it … When ministers are in tune with themselves, they can touch people in beautiful ways, but when they are out of tune with themselves, not even the Lord can make music with them. (Leading the Congregation, Shawchuck and Heuser, Abingdon, 27)