The Courage to Lead Yourself


Leadership is about being yourself, the person God created you to be. That is the path of courageous leadership.

Living courageously is a vital component of self leadership. Courage is the choice to be authentic, to be true to yourself and God, to live and lead in a way that reflects how you were “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14).

If there is one word to sum up leadership, the word “authenticity” would be a good one to do that. Leadership is about being yourself, the person God created you to be. All the tricks in the world won’t hide a lack of authenticity. When you look at some of history’s greatest leaders, you find diverse personalities. Yet they were all authentic. That’s what made them leaders. That's how they made a difference.

Once we understand how God has created us, we are faced with a choice to either be ourselves as He made us or try to become someone else. As someone has put it, “If you won’t be you, then who will be?” Only you can be the unique individual God created.

The struggle is that others and circumstances frequently pressure us to be something we are not. Our work setting may seek a “front man” but we are more comfortable working behind the scenes. Our church wants a chaplain, but we feel called to be a scholar. Some of this pressure comes from individuals whose motto in life seems to be, “God loves you, and I have a wonderful plan for your life.” Whose plan are you living, yours, others or God’s?

As the consummate leader, Jesus began His ministry by deciding that pleasing God was His ultimate priority (Matthew 3:13-17) and continued to lead in light of that throughout His earthly ministry (John 8:29). Even when those closest to Him sought to divert from the path, He was to travel (Matthew 16:21-23); Jesus chose to live out God’s purpose and plan.

Be yourself. Those who matter don’t mind if you do, and those who do mind don’t really matter. This is the path of courageous leadership.

Written by Brett Selby

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