Weekly Impact is written for leaders by our former Executive Director, Garth Jestley, who has decades of experience in senior leadership roles in the financial services sector. Each week he will share insights on life, leadership and faith.
This series of posts explores the topic “knowing God” – what it is, what it is not, why it is important, how it is possible and why it is relevant to marketplace leaders in the twenty-first century.
In my previous posts, I made the following bold assertion: The Christian faith is all about knowing God. According to the Bible, knowing God is only possible when we entrust our eternal security (i.e., our soul, both before and after physical death) to Jesus and His saving work on the cross. Put differently, we are called to forego self-rule for God-rule.
Since the mission statement of LeaderImpact is “helping marketplace leaders explore the relevance of faith in God in their professional and personal lives,” a key organizational imperative is addressing this specific biblical claim with any marketplace leader open to exploring it. The relevance of faith in God does not, however, stop there. In fact, it is simply the end of the beginning!
Over the next few weeks, I will consider several basic needs I have identified in my own life to which I think most marketplace leaders can relate. Recognizing that some needs are subconscious, my hope is that this series will stimulate awareness of them as well as the relevance of faith in God in meeting them.
THE NEED TO BE VALUED
The need to be valued has played a significant role in my life, being closely intertwined with my identity. During the years prior to my encounter with Jesus, my identity was bound up in how well I performed. As a young person, my persona was straight A student in high school and a top student in the Science Faculty at University of British Columbia. Based upon these academic accomplishments and the positive feedback related thereto, I felt valued.
In business, my identity (value) became my business card. My title became the proxy for who I was. It conveyed authority, power and success. I affirmed this identity by performing well and being rewarded through promotion and compensation.
One problem from seeking to be valued through accomplishments is the performance treadmill. In fact, this seemingly unending vista of goals set, goals achieved and new goals set stopped me dead in my tracks in my thirties and caused me to look elsewhere for meaning. In addition, this treadmill played havoc with work/life balance.
A related problem was the performance roller coaster. My self worth became a function of how well I did. When goals were not achieved, it felt as though my value had taken a hit. Failure affected not only my feeling of self worth but also my sense of peace.
By contrast, after I made the decision to entrust my life (both professional and personal) to Jesus, my identity radically changed. No longer is it based upon performance, position and power. Rather, it relates to whose I am. Put differently, it is based upon His performance, not mine.
According to the Bible, I have been adopted into the family of God. Unlike life on the performance roller coaster, my identity no longer fluctuates based upon performance. Rather it is anchored in the security of knowing that God will never reject me as a result of my (all too frequent) failures.
The starting point for experiencing these benefits is knowing God. Next week, I will consider the need to know why I exist.
Garth Jestley is a husband, father, grandfather, leader and business executive. Most importantly, he is a follower of Jesus Christ.