3 Crucial Things We Must Protect As Leaders

December 22, 2014
Lisa Terkeurst
Lysa Terkeurst

By Lysa Terkeurst

Whether your dream is to get a degree, publish a book, be a singer, hold a leadership position, open your own business, or any of the hundreds of other dreams people have, there are three things worth protecting at all costs.

The world will beg us to trade them in for a quicker taste of success.

But if we do, every bit of the success that follows will feel horribly shallow and hauntingly meaningless.

What are these 3 crucial things?

  1. Identity

Know who you are and Whose you are. This is the number one lesson my husband and I have taught our kids. Every Biblical, moral, and crucial life lesson we’ve ever taught them can be wrapped up in one simple statement: “Remember who you are.”

A few years ago, our youngest child Brooke was making a cake. The cake was supposed to cook for 50 minutes but at the 30-minute mark, the cake looked done.

It smelled done. She wanted it to be done.

So, despite knowing the proper directions, she removed the cake from the oven. A few short minutes later, she watched with great sadness as the cake caved in. The cake couldn’t withstand the weight of an undone center.

And neither can we.

We must know who we are before tasting success in our dreams. Otherwise, our dreams will threaten to become our identities. As success ebbs and flows, it crushes those whose identities aren’t grounded in the assurance of God’s love for them.

  1. Integrity

Know what you stand for and determine to stand for more than just yourself. Success in your dream won’t be enough. There has got to be a higher purpose to it all. I like to say as you reach higher, you must remember to also stoop lower. God has a purpose in our dreams and it isn’t to make us happy, rich, or famous. It’s to enable us to make a bigger difference in the lives of people.

That’s true whether we’re seeking to write a book, hold an office, or become a great parent. I often challenge myself to say this statement about any blessing I receive: “This is happening so that I might bless whom?”

  1. Intent

Know why you’re following your dream. If my intent is to get something I feel I’m missing in my life, I’ll forever be disappointed. If my intent is to give something back in this life, no matter where I am in the process, this can be true.

Always trying to get something positions me to be selfish, self-centered, and self-absorbed. But if my intent is always looking to give something, I can be free to live that part of my dream today.

Today, I may not be able to have— but I can certainly decide to give.

Which of these three things speaks to you the most? How can you work on checking and protecting your identity, integrity, and intent in your leadership position?