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Strengthening the Core at Institute

by Jay Hobbs, Communications and Marketing Director

When leadership is discussed as a topic unto itself, most experts tend to zero in on models, theories, and examples.

How frequently should my team meet? How strictly should the Board abide by Robert's Rules of Order?

Should my title be Director? Executive Director? Grand Pooba?

As you may have guessed, the idea of sitting through an extended meeting to focus on these burning topics wasn't exactly on my Can't-Wait-To-Do List.

My fears were dispelled about 30 seconds into the Leadership track of this year's Heartbeat's Institute for Center Effectiveness.

Instead of wrangling about which leadership strategy has which benefits or holes in it, our facilitator, John Rue of Built to Lead, went straight to the heart when the starting gun fired.

John's point, from start to finish, was that, if we are ever going to lead—or even live—with freedom and conviction, the question of "Who" we are needs to be settled and fanned into flame.

Am I primarily a director? A leader? A pastor? A husband? A dad?

If so, I'm going to face an uphill climb any time any of those identities are threatened. Bad day at work? That's an assault on my primary identity as a director. Bad day at home? That's an assault on my primary identity as a husband and dad.

The biblical shorthand for all of this is idolatry. It's dethroning God and setting up something in His place. When we do that with our work, family, friends, or anything else, we're cutting ourselves off from our true identity: Believer, Son, Friend of God, Sheep. Not only that, but we're putting an astronomical burden on something (or someone) who was never intended to bear the weight of the universe.

That was the starting point for the week, where we focused on finding not "balance," but alignment between who we are and what we do. This is where our core identity aligns with our passion, and where work becomes a joyful outflow.

What's your primary identity? What are you passionate about? Do they line up? Maybe next year's Heartbeat's Institute for Center Effectiveness is a great place to find out.