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As a leader, I maintain a commitment to be a life-long learner. There are always areas I can improve in and new things I can learn. But one of the tensions every leader faces is wondering, “Is better always best?” In other words, is it worth improving this skill further? I know I will never be as good as Michael Jordan at Basketball. I may still go out and shoot some hoops with my friends, but developing that skill is not a priority in my life. As leaders, we need to understand that empowering leadership requires effective priorities.
Here are a few thoughts about how to create effective priorities in your personal development.
Start by asking yourself, “Will my best ever be the best?” Another way of asking this is “will I ever do this perfectly?” This isn’t a loaded question. There are some things that can be done perfectly, like taking an exam in school. There is a highest possible score on an exam, and it doesn’t matter how much more time you spend on it, that’s the highest grade you’ll receive. However, there are many things where there is no highest possible score. A presentation can always be tweaked. A musical performance can always be improved. A speech can always be enhanced. At some point, you must ask yourself, “Will I ever be done? Should I stop putting so much effort in this?”
This leads to the second question, “Is it worth getting better at this at the expense of other things?” In the business world, this is the essence of a cost-benefit analysis. What is the benefit we will receive compared to the resources and opportunities it will cost us? Is it worth the time and energy to become slightly better? Could you invest those resources to achieve greater improvement in another area? Many times, the answers depend on your priorities and how you have set up your goals and ambitions in your organization. Sometimes we have to let it go and move on to improve other things.
This brings us to the last question, “Does my identity revolve around my proficiency?” In the end, you have to ask yourself why you want to become better at something. We should never settle for less than our best. But does our desire for excellence stem from insecurity or from a desire to glorify God? If your identity is in your proficiency, you will only fulfill a part of your Divine Design that God designed for you. Think about Usain Bolt. Will Usain always be as fast as he is? Will he continue to be an Olympic runner for the rest of his life? Of course not. Here’s the good news for Usain Bolt and for all of us: God made him to be more than just a runner. God made us to be more than what we do. So, there will come a point when you have to start going after other priorities to become the best.
Thanks for checking out my blog. I hope these words have encouraged you today as you continue to discover your own Divine Design. Please feel free to share your thoughts or comments below. Thanks again and have a great day!