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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.

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  • Dennis says:

    Thanks for the good word Chuck.

  • Mike says:

    Appreciate your leadership and directives in taking us through One’s Identity when I was in Rock Solid. It has had a lasting impact on me.

  • Pattie says:

    My personal way to form my identity statement was to ask:
    Who do I want to be?
    How do I want to live?
    And then continuously remind myself that through His power alive in me, I have what it takes to be that person.

  • Ranjeet says:

    I am a son.

  • Mike says:

    Imperfect, but I am a child of God. Loved and cared for by him

  • Matt says:

    Ephesians 2:10
    “For we are God’s workmanship, created to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” This is my reminder to continue to stay hungry, increase the commitment, and GO BIG!! Is it my identity, sometimes yes. I need to change my answer from sometimes to all the time just like a Navy Seal would do for us.

  • Holly says:

    I am the beloved of God

  • Robert says:

    Great word Chuck.

  • Bob says:

    Thanks for this reminder Chuck. We need to remember who we are in Him – especially during these days. So timely for me.

  • Denny says:

    Thanks for the good word and reminder Chuck.

  • Denzil says:

    Thank you Chuck for this!  It inspires, challenges, and is timely.  As a former Navy man, it also resonates!

  • Matt says:

    Imperfect, but I am a child of God. Loved and cared for by Him.

  • David says:

    Appreciate the article Chuck. Our greatest accomplishment and biggest failures do not define us although unfortunately influence us. God somehow refines us. It doesn’t fit exactly but it makes me think of John 15:2. As a father this article reminds me of the messages that I add to my sons and how I need to reinforce their relationship with Christ.

  • Dee says:

    Beloved woman of God, in whom He takes great delight!

  • Pete says:

    To be an uncommon man among uncommon men.

  • Greg says:

    To be God’s servant in my world, right here, right now!

  • Chuck

    Chuck Olson

    Serving as a pastor and leadership coach for over forty years, Chuck has a track record of building into the lives of both ministry and marketplace leaders. As founder and president of Lead With Your Life, he is passionate about empowering Kingdom leaders to lead from the inside out.

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