“Before I shaped you in the womb, I knew all about you. Before you saw the light of day, I had holy plans for you: A prophet to the nations-that’s what I had in mind for you.” But I said, “Hold it, Master God! Look at me. I don’t know anything. I’m only a boy!” God told me, “Don’t say, ‘I’m only a boy.’ I’ll tell you where to go and you’ll go there. I’ll tell you what to say and you’ll say it. Don’t be afraid of a soul. I’ll be right there, looking after you.” God’s Decree. (Jeremiah 1:5-8 MSG)
Secure leaders enjoy affirmation but don’t have to have it. They get their fulfillment in their purpose, not from popular opinion.
It’s always been amazing to me how important the opinion or affirmation of others are to a leader. I think every leader, if they are being honest, can Remember times when the affirmation or approval of others were entirely to important to them.
This is truly a significant difference between a secure leader and an insecure leader.
The insecure leader needs constant affirmation. In order to move forward they must have people who dote on them, and tell them how great they are. It’s almost as if affirmation is the fuel that keeps them going.
The sad part about this is in every leaders life there are times we must stand alone. It’s the very essence of leading. Sometimes you are standing out front by yourself.
The secure leader wants their followers to be with them, and to be happy, however their main goal is to reach their destination. To accomplish the purpose. They find their fulfillment and satisfaction in their purpose not in popular opinion.
The insecure leader will never get very far, because they are dependent on the emotional responses of others, and we all know how inconsistent that can be.
The secure leader will normally achieve their goal because they keep leading no matter what, realizing that’s what leadership is. Getting people from where they are to where they need to be whether they like it at first or not, or whether it’s hard or not.
Like Jeremiah, we need to keep our focus on what we were created for, our purpose as leaders and not on fearing those we are leading.
Remember affirmation and approval can be addicting. Leadership is not a popularity contest it is a journey of purpose.
1. Know your purpose.
It’s been said, if you don’t know where your going your not going to like where you end up.
2. Let fulfilling your purpose be enough.
People stroking your ego may feel good for the moment but it won’t be enough in the long haul. Especially when some of the same people will speak against you when they don’t agree.
3. Learn to affirm yourself.
Encourage yourself. Celebrate your wins.
4. Acknowledge your need for affirmation.
Every human being needs affirmation. It’s ok to get it and to give it, but we can not get addicted to it or make decisions based on it. Appreciate it and let it go.
Be secure in your purpose and don’t seek affirmation.