We returned to our local church this past Sunday after being out of town for several weeks, and it was certainly good to feel the comfort of a sanctuary that feeds both my mind and my soul. The readings were from Ezekiel (2: 2-5), 2 Corinthians (12: 7-10), and Mark (6: 1-6) – none of which were particularly memorable to me. Our deacon gave the homily (that’s Catholic for preachin’), which was a thoughtful reflection on the importance of the grace we receive to help us overcome our failings. He closed with a short call to action: “Don’t waste your weaknesses.”
That phrase brought me up short and made me pause. In a spiritual sense, I have long been conscious of my shortcomings – like many, I suppose, I struggle with my convictions, my own mortality, and the issues that come with pride, ego, and more. If my faith journey has largely been about trying to conquer those shortcomings, how am I supposed to value them as something not to be wasted? I will have to pray about that one for a while…
But as these things work, the other side of my brain was able to process the deacon’s challenge more easily. I think and write about leadership frequently and hypothesize that all leaders are flawed in fundamental ways. While everyone can learn new skills and get better at their craft, I’ve long believed that we must live and work with some set of shortcomings. And to borrow from my deacon friend, we should not waste those weaknesses. Whether we are a CEO, an elected official, a manager, or someone getting their daily work done, there is great value in our failings.
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