The Two Most Important Questions Every Leader Must Answer

The Two Most Important Questions Every Leader Must Answer

From the time we are born until we die (I suppose), we all seem to have a lot of questions. As a little child, we want to know “Why is the sky blue?” “Why do fish swim underwater?” “Why do you do that?” and more!!

As a youth, we want to know “Why can’t I stay out as late as my friends?” “Why can’t I watch that on TV or at the movies?” “Why do I have to clean my room? No one ever goes in my room.” And again, more!!

As adults, we want to know why we exist, what’s our purpose, when will this (whatever it is) ever end and more!!!

Well, at Lead Like Jesus we ask two strategically important questions for every leader to answer:  “Whose Are You?” and “Who Are You?”

Every leader must answer: Whose Are You? and Who Are You?

Those two questions form the crux of the Lead Like Jesus content. Once those two questions are firmly settled in your mind, many challenges and concerns disappear.

Whose Are You?

A few years ago my son decided to check out our ancestry through a popular website. So he began with the basics: mother, father, grandparents, and great grandparents – and then trouble arose. Who are some of these people, and how do I continue on? Fortunately my side of the family is pretty small, but that was not as true for his father. After months of perseverance, he was able to get back to the 1200s and made some interesting discoveries. His desire to follow these trails leads to whose he was. He wanted to know how he was connected to those who had gone before.

The Lead Like Jesus question – Whose are you? – leads in a more spiritual direction. Do you know your spiritual heritage? To whom do you belong? Most of us can name the person who helped us become a Jesus follower, but to whom do you really belong? The Scripture says,

"If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord." (Romans 14:8)

When we can firmly anchor in our hearts and minds that we belong to God – the “Whose we are” question – is settled for a lifetime. Once that happens, then we can begin the journey of understanding what that means to each of us specifically and the body of Christ more broadly. When I know that I am the beloved, redeemed, bought with a price, loved unconditionally, a  joint-heir with Jesus and that there is nothing I can do to change God’s love for me, then I can begin to live into the unique, awesomely wonderful creation that God designed for me to be!

Knowing I belong to God I can live as the unique creation He designed me to be!

Who Am I?

Once I understand "Whose" I am, then I can begin the journey of discovering who I am!

What are my gifts, skills, abilities, talents and experiences that craft me into this unique person. How can I use these for the greater good of the Kingdom of God?

Several churches have recognized the importance of these steps and have created programs that help advance our thinking. However, each of us can sort out the answers to these questions without these tools. All you need is a computer, iPad, or sheet of paper and time.

When you consider your gifts, you can think about those things about which you are passionate. Where you lose track of time when you’re working on them. When you are the happiest you’ve ever been.

Thinking about your skills, you can focus on what you’ve learned to do excellently – computers, accounting, working with children, leading a small group, etc. Add them to the list and then rate them according to those that bring you joy. I know how to do a lot of things, but certain things make me smile, my heart soar and my joy expand. Make a list!

Our abilities are those natural talents that give us great pleasure. Some are wonderful musicians and artists, and they stand out above the others. That is natural talent with years of training and experience. I’m innately organizational. I can see what goes where and how to place, plot or delete things without any help. It comes naturally. It’s so easy you wonder why others don’t get it like you do. What comes naturally for you?

Our abilities are those natural talents that give us great pleasure. 

What life experiences do you have that have shaped who are you as a person? It could be education, interaction with others, challenging times, positive or negative times.

I’ve had several life experiences that helped shape me. I’m an only child, my parents were both deceased by the time I was 30, I went to college for the first time at 35, and I was divorced and a single parent. Some of these could have had a negative impact on my life and for a time they may have. However, my relationship with the Lord has turned these into positive life experiences that have shaped me. What life experiences have you had that shaped you? How can you turn the negative ones into positive ones?

Ready for Answers?

So, whose are you and who are you? Only you can answer those questions.

Get your computer or your iPad or a sheet of paper and pencil and get started. It may take a while to answer the questions but this journey of a lifetime is worth the effort!

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Karen McGuire

Karen McGuire came to Lead Like Jesus in February 2004 following the first Lead Like Jesus Celebration in Birmingham, Alabama, in November 2003, where she served as the volunteer coordinator. She comes with vast experience in local church ministry and denominational work and has been instrumental in the formation of several successful nonprofit ventures, including two churches, a seminary, a medical missions organization, and a welfare-to-work program. Karen served on several church staffs, held many volunteer positions in her local church, and is a Bible study teacher and seminar and retreat leader. She has one son and two young adult granddaughters.