Nearly 20 years ago Peter Drucker claimed that “successful careers are not planned. They develop when people are prepared for opportunities because they know their strengths, their method of work, and their values” (Harvard Business Review, March-April 1999, “Managing Oneself”).
Many in this audience have careers in ministry or at least have parallel investments (they govern, they serve, they lead) in ministry.
Drucker maintained that the key is not planning for careers but preparing for opportunities.
Sounds simple doesn’t it?
- Know your strengths. What you’re good at. What gives you energy.
- Know how you perform. How you get things done.
- Know your values. Know the core of who you are.
This will send PLI alumni and Leadership Essentials participants scurrying for their Leading from Within maps and notes or remembering a poignant breakthrough moment that changed their life trajectory.
The reality is that…
- Most never engage the time or discipline to know their strengths.
- Most never capture how they work.
- Most never understand “what’s inside” that defines them.
Thus, lots of us disqualify ourselves of opportunities as if our résumé noted…
- An asterisk for ineffective or
- A footnote “equipped for a world gone by”.
God willing, many of us could have careers that span 40 or 50 years plus a decade or two of continued capacity. That’s a long time to wear an asterisk or a footnote!
Scott and Lori Rische lead PLI’s international work. Scott says:
I frequently ask pastors to make a list of everything they do. They’ll make a list of 20 or 25 different things. I ask them to circle the things that fit their strengths. Sometimes they only circle two or three things. They suddenly understand why they lack joy and energy. Why they’re not particularly good at what they do. Why they’re not better respected as leaders.
David courageously refused to be something that he wasn’t and he grabbed a sling, a staff, some stones and carried an unconquerable confidence: “The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.” 1 Samuel 17:37
So, here’s what I know: You won’t do this on your own.
You need to take a closer look at Leadership Essentials. If you’re married; talk to your spouse: “We need to stop wearing someone else’s armor. The future’s too long. The opportunities too great to be listed with an “ineffective asterisk” or a “world gone by” footnote on the résumé.”
If you’re not married, no difference.
And if you need financial help, ask for it! You’re worth it!
So, would you do two of the following?
- Take a look. Contact Raechel. Tell her you’re interested in Chicago in November.
- Share this with a pastor or two that you value or love. Tell them: Don’t wait.
- Dig out those old notes if you’ve done this before in PLI and remind yourself of what you may have forgotten
- Pray for the hundreds of leaders currently in PLI. PLI is investing in them to boldly lead our churches into a new season of vibrancy and Gospel influence.