I Am Still Becoming By Alex McElroy
Becoming is a process.
It is not always clear what something is becoming until it has already become.
Recently, my daughter has been learning about life cycles in school. She was enthralled each day to report back the progress – the egg became larvae (caterpillar), then it entered the pupa stage (chrysalis), and finally the adult butterfly. With each new stage, her excitement grew even though she wasn’t sure exactly the type of butterfly that would emerge. Each stage is significant in the development of the butterfly. If you were not already privy to the process you wouldn’t know what the chrysalis is becoming when you first looked at it.
The best leaders speak to who someone is while guiding them into who they will become. If we’re honest we must all admit that we weren’t born knowing what we know or being able to do what we can do. There was a process of evolution that we went through in order to be great in some area of influence. In fact if we are truly being intentional about excelling in life, we are in fact still becoming who we will be.
Skills are important but so is belief. A leader is in the best position to help others believe in themselves. What you think about yourself will govern how you conduct yourself. How you conduct yourself will determine the opportunities that present themselves. And the opportunities we are presented will largely determine who we become. Who you become will ultimately display your purpose in life. The path to fulfilling your purpose in life will take some unexpected turns but a great leader can help others to navigate those turns and become who they were created to become.
WHAT AM I BECOMING?
Often a leader can see skills, talents and abilities that we may not have recognized in ourselves. What we become is largely connected to what we do in life. However, what we do is not who we are. Typically when we meet someone for the first time one of the primary questions we are asked is, “what do you do?” How we answer this question allows people to mentally place us in a box based upon who they perceive us to be.
Beyond the skills, what leaders should be producing are people endued with character. What we are is bigger than what we do. Most people want to be “good” people but what measures are in place to ensure that the desired character is being produced. Howard Hendricks wrote,
“Character failure is seldom a blowout; it is usually the result of a long, slow leak.”
A leader needs to be able to spot the leak while it is still small enough to fix.
WHO AM I BECOMING?
As a leader we must speak to who those we lead are and help them to see who they can become. It’s important that the words of a leader are spoken with sincerity. The words of a leader are meaningless if the actions of that leader aren’t meaningful. This may cause those in leadership to have to make some tough decisions and have some difficult conversations from time to time. For example, in order to speak to someone’s character, which is ultimately for their betterment the leader must delve into some harsh truths. When and if to have such a conversation can be a difficult decision.
As a leader, those you lead won’t feel the anguish of the decisions you have to make in the same way that you do. They might understand or identify that something is a problem but it will never resonate as deeply with them as it does with you. However, who they become will be a direct result of the choices that the leader makes. It is up to the leader to make the case to those they lead that who they are currently pales in comparison to who they can become.
WHY AM I BECOMING?
Knowing in what ways you are being perfected and who you are becoming should always be undergirded by why you are becoming. As a leader are you helping people do better simply for them to have a better life or is there some deeper reason? What purpose are you helping them discover and how will their fulfillment of that purpose create future leaders in other areas of influence?
In order to maximize productivity in this life, leaders need to assist those they lead in realizing the passion that God put in them so they can be mobilized by that passion for the duration of their lifetimes. The solutions that the world needs are trapped in those you lead who have given in to accepting what they see and not fixing what they see. Some may have difficulty believing they are necessary. Great leaders help people see why they should embrace becoming a solution to the problems existing in organizations, churches and societies throughout the world.
The purpose of leadership has very little to do with the leader and everything to do with those they lead.
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” – John Quincy Adams
Alex McElroy is an international speaker who has taught thousands of people how to lead and live out their purpose in life. He is a passionate speaker, teacher, leader, business owner, author, as well as a faithful husband and a devoted father.
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