Clay Scroggins is the lead pastor of North Point Community Church and works with leadership expert and pastor Andy Stanley.
Questions about identity are front and center in our society. Should we be surprised? Few things are as crucial to who you are than how you see yourself and how others see you. (p 38)
Near to the core of what makes a person a leader is their sense of identity. (p 38)
It’s never too early or too late to begin processing your sense of self. (p 38)
Your personal identity is even more crucial when you’re determining how best to lead when you’re not in charge. (p. 38)
Most people in the situation of new leadership or not being in charge focus on learning new behaviors to compensate for not having any authority. But, (CS says) that leading well without formal authority has less to do with behavior and more about your identity. (p. 39)
Leadership requires the ability to calmly process thoughts and emotions with awareness and emotional intelligence. This is done best when you are secure in your identity.
Our identity affects how we follow, lead, and grow. (p. 40)
Here’s what happens when we don’t have a clear understanding of our identity:
- We could change our identity to fit circumstances. (a great trap for Enneagram 3s)
- We could adopt a fake persona, and pretend we have it all together
- We could exaggerate who we see ourselves, either regarding ourselves more highly or lowly.
Identity is the conception you have of yourself. This includes your past, your people, personality, purpose, and priorities.
At this point, CS offers lots of ways to assess the five “Ps” of Identity.
How to see how your past has shaped you? Chart your life on a timeline and pick five high points of your life and five low points in your life.
How to see how your people have shaped you? Ask yourself who are the people around you and how do they affect how you see yourself. Who supports you? Who should you listen to and who shouldn’t you listen to?
How to understand your personality? Well, you can take all manner of personality tests and assessments. CS mentions several.
- Enneagram (he doesn’t mention, but I think it’s helpful)
The more you understand yourself, the better you’ll be able to know how to work with others.
How to understand your purpose? Scroggins doesn’t exactly give us a way to asses this, but he does make the point that we are all created for something bigger than yourself, to contribute to a greater good, to bring good to others, to create good in other people, and a mission that doesn’t exactly center on making yourself happy.
How to understand your priorities? You just have to decide what those will be or are.
In the final pages of the chapter, Scroggins advises the reader to monitor the voices and inputs that you have in your life. You should clearly pay attention to the voice of God and what He says about you.
When you understand your identity and your relationship with God, you’ll be able to lead without fear, and a freedom to do what’s right.
In chapter two Scroggins addresses the role identity plays in our leadership and cultivating influence with others. The key to understanding your identity is to look at the five “Ps” of personality, and to understand who you are and who God is in your life and what He says of you.
I think I have a pretty solid of understanding of my identity, but I still wobble a little when working with others because I’m not sure how to relate with others. It’s a very one on one thing.
Right now, there are three things I need to do and be aware of:
- Explore more personality assessments
- Assess the people in my life at this time and decide who I should listen to and who should I “mute”
- Take more time to explore my relationship with God and decrease the fear I might have in leadership situations