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Don’t Get This Question Wrong

Written by Chuck Olson

The Navy Seal creed opens with these words:

In times of war or uncertainty there is a special breed of warrior ready to answer our Nation’s call. A common man with uncommon desire to succeed. Forged by adversity, he stands alongside America’s finest special operations forces to serve his country, the American people, and protect their way of life. I am that man.

Read that last sentence again.

The clarity is unmistakable. No confusion. No sliver of doubt resides in the identity of a Navy Seal. I am that man.

There is something deeply centering about a person who is unquestionably certain about who he or she is. Powerful. Unmovable.

Knowing who you are as a leader—your identity—is the most important thing about you. If you get your identity right, you will get life and leadership right. If you don’t, you won’t.

Your identity is a bold declaration of truth about who you are from God’s point of view.

Based on my own personal pursuit in understanding the importance of knowing your identity, I want to post a few learnings for your consideration:

  1. Jesus—our ultimate example—knew who He was. Several times throughout His earthly life He made “I AM” statements. Bold. Clear. Unmistakable.
  2. If you need some help to kick-start knowing who you are from God’s point of view, upload Ephesians 1. This slice of Scripture will get you grounded in a hurry.
  3. I have found that the best metric to measure the effectiveness of your identity is whether it brings both an anchor to your soul and a spring to your step. It should center you. And then it should inspire you.
  4. Your identity should never be at risk. If it is, you’ve got more work to do. Do you identify yourself as a person of wealth? If so, you are subject to the unrelenting twists and turns of the Dow Jones. Or do you identify yourself as an accomplished athlete? If so, a career-ending injury can rock your world in a hurry.
  5. Your platform for living out your identity may change, but your identity doesn’t. You may change zip codes or companies, but those simply become the new stage upon which you live out who you are.
  6. Knowing that life is full of decisions, having clarity on your identity will help you considerably. You will find the ongoing line-up of “yes or no” options in life much easier to navigate.
  7. Finally, mark it down: the accuracy of your identity will determine the size of your story. Wrong identity, small story. Right identity, big story.

The choice is yours.

Go big.


I’d love to know how you would state your identity in a single sentence.

Write it in the COMMENT section.

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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