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Bringing Your A-Game

Written by Chuck Olson

A-Game

It was a thought-provoking time.

Ten leaders, circled up, mining the depths of Old Testament Exodus 18—arguably one of the most significant texts on leadership. If you have logged any time in it, you know that the passage is one-stop shopping on a wide-selection of leadership topics. Stocked on its shelves you will find leadership best-practices for dealing in reality, creating strategy, recruiting and developing leaders, delegating tasks, receiving counsel, making decisions, and creating an org-chart. To name a few!

From this lengthy line-up of leadership wisdom, I’d like to place one on center stage for a moment: The place and power of unique contribution. That is, what are the two or three distinctives that you uniquely bring to the organization you serve that you cannot (must not) ignore or delegate? For Moses, it was to teach, model, and represent the people before God. From there, he was to delegate authority and responsibility to qualified leaders.

Identifying your unique contribution is all about locating the intersection of your organization’s needs and your personal profile—a mix of your passions, your giftedness, your strengths, your experiences, your knowledge, your skill set, etc. For example, if you are a strategic thinker at a start-up organization, you may not have an active role in the development of the over-arching vision, but you should have an essential role in the development of the pathway to implementing that vision. That’s what you do best. That’s where you show up. That’s what distinguishes you.

That’s where you make your unique contribution.

Identifying your unique contribution is all about locating the intersection of your organization’s needs and your personal profile.

Andy Stanley in his book, Next Generation Leader, tees it up this way: The moment a leader steps away from his core competencies, his effectiveness as a leader diminishes.

So have you thought about, what is YOUR unique contribution? What’s your value point to your organization? What high-payoff activities do you need to do more of and seek out?

Ask yourself this question: Recognizing how God has gifted me, what do I need to do less of so that I can do more of what He has distinctly wired me to do??

Ask yourself this question: Recognizing how God has gifted me, what do I need to do less of so that I can do more of what He has distinctly wired me to do?

Let me leave you with a challenge: Once you have identified your unique contribution, pull out your calendar and do the hard yet ultimately satisfying work of blocking out daily self-appointments where you focus on and drill down on what matters most—your unique contribution.

Because you know the drill: If you don’t schedule time for what’s most important, someone else will!

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  • Paul says:

    Thanks for timely reminders, always, Chuck.

  • Mike says:

    The question you ask is causing me to reconsider the ministries that I am a part of.
    “Recognizing how God has gifted me, what do I need to do less of so that I can do more of what He has distinctly wired me to do?”

  • Bob says:

    Thanks for this reminder. Going through Rock Solid gave me such a solid grounding on which to move forward.

  • Matt says:

    Showing up strong within my areas of expertise and focus has been an intentional foundation on which I am now building my company and career.

  • Pam says:

    Discovery of the gifts that make my heart sing have been freeing and of such great importance to my life.

  • Jeff says:

    I am committed to doing more of what I am gifted at than jumping into a hundred things that others can do better!

  • Chip says:

    What an important and timely word right now. Thank you so much! What you share in this post is more important than ever before in our current environment. We have unprecedented opportunity for good as the shaking of our world has produced a new level of awareness of what really matters, and who really matters. Well done!

  • James says:

    If leaders took the necessary time to figure out what they can uniquely contribute, our churches and communities would be so much healthier and have significantly more return by way of impact! Thanks for this.

  • Rick says:

    Really well said, and insightful.
    Thanks Chuck.

  • Mark says:

    So true…If I don’t take control of my own schedule, others will happily do so!

Chuck Olson

As founder and president of Lead With Your Life, Dr. Chuck Olson is passionate about inspiring, resourcing and equipping Kingdom leaders to lead from the inside out.  To lead, not with the external shell of positions, achievements or titles, but from an internal commitment to a deep, abiding and transparent relationship with Jesus. Serving as a pastor and leadership coach for over forty years, Chuck has a track record of building these truths deep into the lives of both ministry and marketplace leaders.

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