My first MBA class is everything I had hoped for–engaging, thought-provoking, and energizing. The professor is dynamic, and the students are diverse and friendly. During our first class, the instructor said that self-awareness is essential for good leadership. It started me thinking about a passage I read in the The Message:
The only accurate way to understand ourselves is by what God is and by what he does for us, not by what we are and what we do for him.
The Message is a paraphrase of the Bible, and I’m honestly not sure why this portion of Romans 12 was paraphrased this way, but I do think it’s a Biblical idea. Just as self-awareness is crucial for good leadership, understanding our relationship with God is necessary in order to become fully self-aware. We can’t have an accurate view of ourselves unless we first understand that God is perfect, and we don’t measure up to His perfection. We should start by comparing ourselves with God, not with Steve Jobs (founder of Apple), Howard Schultz (CEO of Starbucks), or Alan Mulally (CEO of Ford).
Then we should understand what God does for us in making His forgiveness available to us through His Son, and that our value as individuals comes from what God does and how He see us, not from what we do and how we see ourselves. For a person who believes in God’s Son, Jesus Christ, all of these things are true:
- I am a child of God (John 1:12)
- I am a friend of God (John 15:15)
- I am a saint (1 Corinthians 1:2)
- I am a witness of Christ. (Acts 1:8)
- I am a citizen of heaven (Philippians 3:20)
- I am God’s coworker (1 Corinthians 3:9).
- I am complete in Christ (Colossians 2:10)
- I am free from condemnation (Romans 8:1)
- I am born of God and the evil one cannot harm me. (1 John 5:18)
- I have been given a spirit of power, love and a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7)
- I have been given everything I need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3)
- I have been chosen and appointed to bear fruit. (John 15:16)
- I can obtain mercy and grace in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)
- I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)
Once we understand who we are in relation to God, then I think it can be helpful to study different leadership styles in the business world, assess our own methods, and try to improve. Self-awareness is about truth, and Who better to start with that the Source of all Truth and the Leader of the universe?