Henry Cloud – Catalyst 2013 – Boundaries for Leaders

The Bible can make you well instead of crazy.

Leaders learn leadership and then they go out into reality.  You're the one that has to do it.  And there's a gap between what you know it should look like and what it does.

The worst thing we can die with is potential.  Not a lack of performance but with untapped potential.

How do we know our identity from which to lead?

One of your realities is how you think, behave, feel, perform, etc.

But you also have to do it with a bunch of other wackos.

The personal and interpersonal space of reality is where leadership happens and where identity happens.

What you learn from some Christians is that identity is a proposition.

You hear you have to find your identity in Christ, but how do you do that?

Leaders who begin leading and do not understand that the completion process of finding your identity is a process that God takes people through, they fail to enter into this experience and feel that they ought to already be there, but you've still got a difficult board of elders or crazy person or difficult context.

And you're trying to find out who you are in all of this.

I want to take us from theory through reality to our identity.

If you think you can skip reality and just go operate in your identity, you are in for a big shock.

It's going to affect you in three areas:

Clinical - depression, etc.

That is a path that is forged in reality.  We're going to talk about the boundaries that leaders need to have to find their identity.  It is possible to get to the end of your life and never find it.

The Bible is a story about propositions.  God has secured a calling for you in leadership. He comes into our world and tells us that we have an identity of a future reality.  But he secures a promised land out there and says, "You've got to go possess it."

It's in that journey of the possession that you become possessed by the identity that God has for you.

God is perfecting those he has perfected.  I'm going to talk a bit about this path and specific boundaries.

Our identity is something that has to be realized and not only understood cognitively but known in your heart, mind, soul, and strength.

Not only is it a spiritual identity, but it manifests in the physical world.

My brain ay be getting it but not really getting it.

1. Attention

The brain begins to form circuitry and wiring basically through attention. Leaders who succeed have to have a vision.  People who have a specific goal and vision are something like 80-90% more apt to bring those to fruition.

It is the attention to what you focus on that will bring it to reality.  What your brain is always asking is "Who am I? What do I do? How do I do that?"

Your brain has to attend to what is relevant, inhibit everything else, and keep a working memory.

Leadership identity is like that.

When Steve Jobs went back to Apple, nobody used it.  Steve Jobs went back there and finds out there's 30 something versions of the Mac.  He streamlines it to four, a personal and professional version of laptops and desktops.

In your identity formation, can you ask yourself the question, what is it that I have got to be attending to, in myself and in my mission.  Do I know what we're about.  Do I know what I've got to focus on in the short, mid, and long term.

If everything is important, nothing is important.

The Bible tells us over and over that we've got to be single-minded.

The leaders who make it put structures in their life to help them.

As soon as you start focusing on where it is you're headed, every circumstance in your life will be interpreted in terms of that vision, short term and long term.

People do the best when they're doing what they're good at.  But the only way to find that out is to get in the game.

2. Positive Emotional Climate

Identity is only built in a positive emotional climate.  If you traumatize the brain... you have two brains, one of them is knowledge, goodness, creativity, etc. You have a second brain.  It's called the lower brain.  Basically, that brain exists to protect you when under threat. It basically turns up the juice on reacting instead of thinking.  Fight or flight.

God has said over and over that you've got to be learning who you are in Him.  It's called grace.  It's called support.  It's called healing.

1 Thess 5: To help the weak, encourage the faint-hearted, confront the unruly, to be patient with all of them.

I want you to be out there trying and failing and succeeding and not having anyone beat you up for it, including yourself.

Some of you come from backgrounds where your brain is in a fight or flight mode, and you can't even begin to think about what you might want to do because you're under constant threat.  You must get out of Egypt and go to a new place where there is a positive emotional climate where there is both grace and truth

Absence of entitlement.  When the Bible says we shouldn't think more highly of ourselves than we ought, it's not just grandiosity, it's self-crippling doubt.

James says that God will generously give wisdom without finding fault, because He understands that proposition is not realization.  God does not see the journey as a fault.  But the law will never perfect us.

When your brain finds itself in that positive emotional climate, literal chemicals are released that propel you.

The only ones that God finds fault with are the ones that get off the path and reject him.

3. Connect

You need people to walk through the process with you.

The brain works on:

A baby that is not connected with will have literal black holes in the brain where it did not form.

You have to have people walking down the field of life with you.

One of my favorite studies was taking monkeys, putting them in a cage, scaring the living daylights out of them.  So they measure the stress level and get a baseline stress level.

Then they did one thing.  They didn't reduce the stress levels.  Same elder board. Same team, same family of origin.  Here's what they did.  They put the monkey's buddy in the cage and closed the door.

So here's my question to you, who's your monkey?

4. Control

Being a control freak is part of the human design.  God has designed your brain so that it loves to have control.  But you were designed to be a control freak over one thing: yourself.  We worry about everything in life you can't control.

Teams that win the Super Bowl do 3 things:
Hold onto the football (no turnovers)
Follow the rules (no penalties)
Special teams

I want you to forget that you are in Potiphar's prison, because you can't control that.  You might be able to do some things to influence.

You can only control you.  You take all of this.

Everything about goal orientation and formation, what makes people realize their goals?  Desire?  No, people want things they can't achieve.

The number one factor that influences whether you achieve a goal is whether you believe you can.

We must start with faith, but faith without works is dead.

Posted at 9:14 AM on October 3rd, 2013
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