Monday, December 15, 2014

The leader mask...

Week 51:

Luke 11:43 Woe to you Pharisees, because you love the most important seats in the synagogues and respectful greetings in the marketplaces.

Luke 16:14-15 14 The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus.15 He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts. What people value highly is detestable in God’s sight.

Matthew 6:5  “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 

Mark 12:38-40 38 As he taught, Jesus said, “Watch out for the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and be greeted with respect in the marketplaces,39 and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets. 40 They devour widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. These men will be punished most severely.”

One of the issues I believe Jesus had with the Pharisees and the teachers of the law was their love for their position.  These were Israel’s leaders.  Because of their knowledge and upbringing, amongst other things, these men had been placed into this leadership role.  I do believe that they initially approached their position with a strong sense of following God and leading God’s people.  Somewhere along the way, these men lost sight of what the initial assignment was for them. 

Somehow, these men began to believe that they were to act a certain way as a leader.  They began to take on this persona or mask that they felt a leader should wear.  They allowed the power of their position to make them into men they did not set out to become.  At this point, their position defines them, instead of their hearts defining them.  These men began to worship themselves and their power, all the while hiding behind the law. 

What is it about the leader’s mask that creates this persona and behavior?  When I exam my life, especially in leadership, I discover that I at times walk a similar path as these men did.  I get caught up in the position, the demands of the position, the power of the position, the rewards of the position, and eventually, the mask or persona of the position.  I actually give my power away to the position and become a victim of it.

In some ways, this is idol worship.  When I get caught up in my position, persona, and power, I set myself up as an idol.  I have said several times in many circles that in our culture the main idol we worship is ourselves.  Our American culture of hard work and a “pick myself up” attitude has us believing that we do all the work.  In some cases, this leaves no room for God.  In my case, I become a control freak and rely on my faith very little.  I create a world where I have the power, so I think.  In truth, I am worshipping myself.  I become a victim of my own creation.

Because of this mask and persona, I feel I have to be “on” all the time.  I leave no room for the authentic me.  If were to show that authentic part of me, I believe would be considered weak and flawed as a leader.  However, this world becomes exhausting.  Leadership should not be this hard.  And, I begin to lead in a flawed fashion.  My authentic self, which I have banished for the “position” begins to cry out to be let loose.  This hidden self could eventually cause me to self-destruct.  When I banish my authentic self, I am no longer living in truth.  I become a poser. 

When leading, there are times where I need to act like a “leader” and use the power given.  But I am to hold that loosely and stay true to who I am.  I must drop the leader mask and lead authentically.  Instead of performing how I think a “leader” should act; I am to lead authentically from my heart, married with my training as a leader.  I must look inside and see what drives me and connect with the authentic self…banished long ago.

For Christina men…if you are intrigued by this authentic leadership, then I suggest you join us on a Crucible Men’s Weekend.  I have not found a better place to lead men into authentic life and leadership. 


1.      If you were to give your leadership mask/persona a character’s name, what would it be?  Explain.
2.      Where did your mask originate?  What was the reason?
3.      If you hide your authentic self when leading, why do you suppose you do so?
4.      What do you think about the comparison between the Pharisees leadership and how you lead?
5.      Pay attention this week to how you lead.  Do you hide your authentic self?  Are you victim to the position?  Are you tied to the mask?

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