Francis of Assisi

Measuring Up

stfrancis2"So soon as he certainly has followers, he does not compare himself with his followers, towards whom he might appear as a master; he compares himself more and more with his Master, towards whom he appears only as a servant." That quote is about Francis of Assisi written by G.K. Chesterton.

As a leader, it's easy to start to derive your identity from what your team does or does not accomplish.

And if your team does a great job on a consistent basis, becoming arrogant is certainly a potential pitfall.

I get to lead some amazing people at my local church. People who volunteer their time and skill to help our local church make a difference in our local community and our world.

Staying humble when you work with amazing people can be hard (at least for me). Sometimes I get a bit arrogant. Sometimes I make the mistake of false humility, where I become too self deprecating.

Staying emotionally healthy and having a healthy self image is tough.

I love how Francis addressed this. The more other people wanted to follow him, the more he wanted to follow Jesus. If things were going great, it would be easy to pass that praise on to the Master he so closely followed.

If things were going rough, he has a mentor he can turn to rather than bearing the brunt all on his own.

His perspective and self worth would always be rooted to relationship that would not shift. Assisi would not be 'promoted' above Jesus at any point. Jesus would never fire him.

That's the solid ground on which to build our identity, not the shifting grounds of performance or results.

In order to have the best performance and results, one must have confidence. Jesus can give us that security and confidence.

Francis need not worry whether his followers abandon him, whether for valid reasons or not, because it would not change his identity as a follower himself.

To me, this is a brilliant perspective and one that every leaders - especially church leader - should keep in mind.