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Your Greatest Contribution

Written by Chuck Olson

Your Greatest Contribution

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, both inside and outside the sacred canon. 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 on dealing in reality, creating strategy, recruiting, developing leaders, delegating tasks, receiving counsel, making decisions, and creating an o-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 priorities that you uniquely bring to your organization 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 passion, your giftedness, your strengths, your experiences, your knowledge, your skill set, etc. For example, if you are a strategic thinker in a start-up organization, you may not have an active role in the development of the over-arching vision, but you would have an essential role in the development of the strategy to implement 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.

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

So what’s YOUR unique contribution? What’s your value point to your organization? What high-payoff activities do you need to do more of?

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 wired me to do with distinction?

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 will focus on what matters most—your unique contribution.

Because you know the drill: If you don’t schedule your priorities, everyone and everything around you will.

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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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