“Never overestimate your personal value or leadership shelf life”

According to Yale University’s management psychologist, Dr. Clayton Alderfer, “Genuine leaders rarely radiate I-am-the-greatest tone.” All great leaders have a healthy mix of confidence and humility.

Leaders who refer to “my” business, my organization, or my church as a personal possession usually have an ego that can’t be confined in a football stadium. Any successful effort is built through the collective effort of many dedicated team members, Leadership 101.

Ego versus humility is a critical balancing act. Without an ego very little of significant value happens. However, an inflated or out-of-bounds ego leaves a lot of blood on the trail in the drive to success.

Naive leaders who think they’re indispensable, even for a day a week much less an extended vacation hardly understand their place in the grand scheme of life and are totally out of touch about understanding the shelf life of their leadership effectiveness.

Many myopic leaders are manipulated or dethroned by money, flattery, selfish glory, or “they can’t do it without me” syndrome.

Although many leaders are victims of their own runaway egos, other leaders must guard against an equally dangerous pitfall, excessive modesty or false humility. Excessive modesty is usually a sincere but a misguided self-depreciation of the value God placed in everyone to whom He gave life. False humility is an attempt to deceive others by projecting someone you are not. Neither serve leaders well.

The Apostle Paul in Romans 12:3 said, “Don’t think more of yourself than you ought.” When you look in the mirror be brutally about your personal abilities and accomplishments but not to the point of personal injury.

God only made one of you, celebrate “who” you are, not just what you do. Others will celebrate what you do but seldom who you are. Learn to cheer for yourself once in a while just don’t inflate your value or extend your leadership shelf life beyond its expiration date.