Leadership

Contrasting Styles

In the last two weeks I’ve talked with two leaders who listened to me talk about some of my experiences and offered their perspectives. In both cases it really seemed like they were looking past my words and eyes and into my soul. That’s what the best mentors do. What’s most interesting is that these two are rather different. One is the leader of one of the most prominent leadership development organizations in the world. The other invests himself primarily with drug addicts, prostitutes, and homeless people. One challenges me to explore the outer limits of my potential, the other urges me to embrace my weakness as a means of becoming deeper. One’s books quote alcoholic natives and now dead AIDS victims, the other refers to globally known corporate and ministry figures. I am grateful for both of these men and their willingness to set aside time from their lives to speak into mine. I need to be drawn into a fuller understanding of both my range of influence and my own core inadequacies. And in truth, both of the conversations included aspects of both. Neither leader is limited to a single theme. In their own lives and in their professional roles they help others to become more complete, from whatever the starting point. Every leader needs people in their life that can see beyond the surface and challenge them to develop fuller; both in their identity and their influence. Who’s shaping you?