How We Can Be Impactful Leaders

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Leadership is a laid-down life.


By: Clint Fisher, Upper Elementary Principal

Perimeter School had the opportunity to have US Navy SEAL JP Dinnell speak to the dads in our school the Saturday before school started at the first Dads’ Prayer and Dads’ Equipping of the year. It was a great time, and if you missed it, you can click here to watch the recording. 

JP spoke about the laws of combat he learned as a Navy SEAL and how they translate into our lives today. He shared how we can have a profound impact in our families, in our businesses, and in our churches using some of these principles. Yet, the difficulty remains that we cannot impact the world around us until we impact ourselves and provide meaningful self-leadership. 

He shared three general self-leadership principles, and each one has great potential to impact our careers, our families, our lives, and our faith. These three principles include taking full responsibility, believing in what you are doing, and remembering it is not all about you. These powerful truths are not just for our dads. All can benefit from JP’s wisdom.

Take Responsibility

The version of taking responsibility JP proposes is radical . . . it is our responsibility to influence every aspect of our life. 

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It is our responsibility to harness and foster that which positively influences the goals and mission of our family and our community. 

Equally, it is our responsibility to change the things that are negatively influencing or keeping us from our mission. 

This principle applies to every situation in life. For example, if we are not getting the support we need from our superiors, it is our responsibility to explain our needs more clearly or to seek support more often. 

It also applies to our children. Children are quick to blame others when something is not going their way (as we all naturally do). This principle equips them to look to what THEY can do to positively change the situation, regardless of the actions of others. How would our relationships look if we were all able to do this? 

BELIEVE

We must fight to believe in what we are doing . . .  

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First, we must cultivate a general belief that our task is a worthy one. 

Second, we must decide it is worthy of our complete and sacrificial effort at any given moment. 

Third, we must fight complacency and mediocrity, which tells us that a job is good enough when it is not our best.  

JP presented a sign that said, “The enemy thanks you for not giving 100% today!” So often, we do not give 100%. Why? Because we are not convicted that we should. 

If a task is simply a check box on our list of to-do’s, then we know we do not really understand it’s value, and therefore, we do not really believe in it. 

Understanding the role that a task plays in accomplishing a greater goal will help us decide whether we have not placed enough value on the task or ultimately, that we do not believe in the mission. 

Understand that It is not all about you

Lastly, it is a matter of letting go of our own ego or self-focus. Life is not all about feeling great. This is a dividing line between childish behavior and impactful leadership. 

Children are consumed with themselves, always aware of how everyone is making them feel. A leader is focused on how circumstances or actions are affecting other people. And we all naturally exhibit childish behavior! In order to be impactful leaders, we must trust that God is going meet our needs as we lay down our lives and serve others.  

As I speak with children and adults who are struggling, I have found that these three principles provide both biblical perspective as well as clear guidance to unpack issues and enlighten the path ahead. 

This is the powerful truth: I must not blame others but rather look to see what I can do to correct the situation. I must always strive to personally believe 100% in everything I commit to accomplish and share that with those on my team. I must remember that it is not about me, my reputation, or my resume of success. 

Leadership Is helping others achieve. Leadership is a laid-down life.