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The desire to know oneself better is as old as humanity. The Greek philosopher Aristotle said, “Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” On the other side of the globe, Chinese sage Sun Tzu wrote, “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.”


The Bible calls upon Christians to examine themselves. For instance, Paul challenged the Corinthian Christians in this way, “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves” (2 Corinthians 13:5a). He also reminded the young leader Timothy to “Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers” (1Timothy 4:16). As a result of sin, humans have built-in blinders that keep us from seeing who we truly are.  I am sure you have experienced being totally clueless about something in you that is so plain to others around you.


So as we embark on this journey, it is prudent to pause for a while and take stock of where you are as a leader. This chapter is designed for you to reflect on where you stand in the three dimensions of leadership—logos, pathos, and ethos.


Before undergoing the self-assessment, one question that may come to mind is whether leaders are born or made. Related to this is the subject of what is the set of desirable characteristics that a leader should have. These questions have never been resolved with finality by leadership scholars and practitioners. Perhaps Gary Yukl, as quoted by Aubrey Malphurs, said it best, “It is now recognized that certain traits increase the likelihood that a leader will be effective, but they don’t guarantee effectiveness, and the relative importance of different traits is dependent on the nature of the leadership situation.”[1]


Assess yourself for each question below, with 1 being the lowest and 5 the highest.



  • I am aware of the core message I am sharing to others    1  2  3  4   5

  • I have a good grasp of the principal teachings of the Bible. 1  2  3  4   5

  • I continue to grow in my knowledge of the Bible.  1  2  3  4   5

  • I effectively communicate with members of my team. 1  2  3  4   5

  • I use social media wisely. 1  2  3  4   5



  • My life reflects a commitment to and conviction for my message. 1  2  3  4   5

  • I am basically an optimist.   1  2  3  4   5

  • I tend to persevere in my tasks.  1  2  3  4   5

  • I serve others willingly.  1  2  3  4   5



  • In general, my life reflects the message I am teaching   1  2  3  4   5

  • I am dependent on God for the results of my labors.  1  2  3  4   5

  • I am seeking to grow in humility   1  2  3  4   5

  • I know my limitations.  1  2  3  4   5

  • I am open to corrections.  1  2  3  4   5

  • I readily apologize for my mistakes.  1  2  3  4   5

  • I strive to live a consistent life   1  2  3  4   5

  • I know how to use power.  1  2  3  4   5

  • I lead my family first.  1  2  3  4   5


Based on your answers to the above, identify which areas you need to improve. We will study each of the above topics for the rest of this book.



[1] Malphurs, p109.

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