Artwork for podcast Purpose Through Pain
180. The Hardest Person to Lead
Episode 18013th June 2023 • Purpose Through Pain • Joseph James
00:00:00 00:17:01

Share Episode


In this captivating episode, Joseph delves into the challenging task of leading oneself. Whether it's leading in a marriage, business, or as a parent, we all encounter situations where we need to lead others.

In this Episode:

• Joseph shares his personal experiences, drawing from his leadership style developed in the Marine Corps and influenced by his upbringing.

• He reflects on the difficulties he faced in leading himself, emphasizing the crucial role it plays in effectively leading others.

• Joseph explores three key principles of leadership exemplified by Jesus, applicable to all regardless of their beliefs.

• Joseph encourages listeners to place trust in God's provision rather than succumbing to worry and anxiety.

• Joseph emphasizes the importance of prioritizing God's kingdom over worldly possessions, encouraging listeners to evaluate their priorities.

• Joseph shares personal anecdotes, including his own struggles and growth in leadership, underscoring the necessity of self-reflection and transformation.

Key Takeaways:

1. Leading ourselves is the hardest form of leadership. Before we can effectively lead others, we must first learn to lead ourselves.

2. Character matters in leadership. Our actions and behaviors, both in private and public, reflect our character. It is important to strive for integrity and authenticity, as our true character will eventually be revealed.

3. Trusting in God and surrendering our worries is crucial. We often carry burdens and stress, especially in areas of provision and significance.

4. Putting God's kingdom above our own agenda is a key aspect of leadership.

5. Leadership begins with ourselves. We need to assess our character, address our worries, and prioritize our relationship with God.

Tweetable Moments:

  1. "Your character will reveal the things you do; they will find you out."
  2. "The way we act behind closed doors will become public knowledge and manifest in other areas."
  3. "Leaders worry because they bear weight."
  4. "You are the hardest person to lead—yourself. However, you are the only one who can work on yourself. It's all a matter of choice."

Connect with joseph James at:





Hey everyone, and welcome to another great show of Purpose, Through Pain Podcast. I am your host, Joseph James. Tonight I want to talk about one of the hardest people to lead. A lot of us, no matter, at some point in time in our life, we have to lead other people, it could either be in our marriage, it could be leading ourself, leading our children or even leading within business. Maybe you don't own a business, maybe you work as a employee, but may maybe you still have people underneath you, and so that we're always going to find at some point in time in our life that we are leading other people and we've all learned at some degree how to lead. I know personally I joined or I learned a lot of my leadership style from the Marine Corps, and it was basically two styles of leadership. It was an authoritarian and a persuasive, okay, persuading people to do things, but yet getting them to do it, and then the authoritarian, which is more like the dictatorship what I like to call it, and that was a style that I learned. I was influenced from a young kid how to lead almost in that same exact way because it was my influence. It was what my dad and how my dad did things. So I started to develop and learn that. Later on, I had my own style of leading within my first marriage, and for those that you know my history and have listened long enough, I had lost, I lost my first wife four years ago to cancer, married almost 14 years, and I had a certain style of leading and our marriage, and then I had kids and I had another way of leading, and then of course, being an entrepreneur, owning my own business, another way of leading. But out of all that, out of all those people, out of all those places, the hardest person I ever came across in leading was leading myself, yeah. I put that moment of silence there for a second because a lot of us don't realize that leading ourself is the hardest, but yet if we can't truly lead other people into doing things unless we truly lead, learn to lead ourself. Now, I'm not saying that we can't ever be effective in certain areas, we sure can. I was effective in leadership in the Marine Corps, and it showed I was I was very good at what I did, but I also struggled in areas that I had to make up for, in my own personal ways, okay. And, it later on in life, it came back, I wouldn't necessarily say it came back to haunt me, but I began to struggle. Were areas that I thought I truly knew leadership, I learned it to the degree in which I was able to carry myself, but then as I grew in life, let's say marriage for an example, is my understanding of marriage or my viewpoint of marriage was very abusive from the standpoint of that's how I was raised, and so I saw an abusive marriage from my father and my mom, okay? And so that was what I learned was the model of marriage. Now I think God that he had delivered me from a lot of anger and walking in the steps, up steps, foots of my father, and so I was never, ever physically abusive to my first wife and even now being married, never laid a hand on any on any of them. But there's no doubt that I have said things, I've said things that I didn't mean, I might have been toxic or was toxic in my own ways of saying things, and I had to ultimately learn how to lead me because there was no way in the world that I was going to be able to lead my wife. Now, even my children, places that I haven't gone, and that was through a lot of personal development. So ultimately, you guys know I share my faith. So I wanna talk to you guys about three things tonight, that the way that Jesus models leadership, and this can be applied in any aspect of your of your life regardless of where you find your faith at. Here's a cool thing about the Bible, you don't have to be a believer to apply biblical principles, and I'm talking about a believer as in a relationship with God, you don't have to apply, you don't have to have a relationship or a belief in God to apply biblical principles and them not work that are designed to work for everyone regardless of where you're at in your own faith. Most of us know KFC, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Colonel Sanders. Colonel Sanders was a tither, he gave offering to the church. He gave his tie to the church, and because of that, he was a blessed individual, but it shows no record. He talks about that he was never a born again believer, but he applied umbilical principle, same thing with JC Penney, the holding store, the retail store. Okay, so first thing is character matters, character matters, and what we do. I remember traveling with and working with a motivational speaker years ago, and I remember somebody saying something about him and it said it went like this. It said, don't allow your anointing to take you where your character can't keep you. There are a lot of times that we can allow our gift, the what we do really good at, take us to places, but our character can't keep us there, because what we do will be found out. When Jesus started making his debut, so to say, and his name became, started becoming very popular, the disciples thought that they could do whatever they want, they were high and mighty. I traveled with the Almighty, I'm traveling with Messiah, I'm traveling with Jesus, and Jesus said something to him in the Book of Luke about, your character will find you out the things that you do will find you out. And I think about that. In leadership. I think about that in my own marriage, right? Like behind closed doors, we can do a lot of things that nobody ever knows about, but eventually those things will come to fruition, that can be by the way that we talk to people, by the way that we treat people, by the way that we love them, or maybe even show lack of love. And so what we do as leaders, our character will find us out, we'll eventually do things and in this world and day and age that we live in, especially with cameras everywhere, you'll be seen doing something you're not supposed to be doing. It's just a matter of time, okay? And maybe you don't do anything physically or showing, but the way you talk to people, you'll eventually slip up. If you're a man that's controlling to his wife, your character will find you out, and this is where something that we have to really work on, not only just behind closed doors because the way we act behind closed doors will come out in public, will come out in other areas. So number one is the character. Number two is we have to spend less time worrying about what we need and more time trusting God because he knows what we need, and we have to realize that our abilities are a gift from God. There's a lot of weight on men because this is the way God created us, is to provide for our families to have that provision. And, but not only just provide, but also protect our families, protect ourselves, protect our wives, our families, our business, and so that can put a lot of concern, a lot of stress, a lot of anxiety, a lot of weight on us. And it's a matter of the feeling of significance, that also comes with the anxiety and the stress. And so we have to come to the realize that our abilities are a gift from God. I'm gonna say that again, our ability to do things, my ability to provide for my family to protect my family is a gift from God. My wife is a gift from God, my children are a gift from God, and so there can be stress on us as believers that we are, that we take on this weight and are now carrying this weight that we really don't have to carry. Because the word of God says is cast all your cares upon him. It also goes on to say that, take his joke for his joke is easy and his burden is light. We have to give these things to God, He knows and understands what our needs are, but he's also looking for us to say, God, will you take this from me? Will you take this off of me? This is a weight that I'm carrying, I need help in this area, and so that's one way to lead, another way to lead ourself because at the end of the day, whether you have a staff with you being an entrepreneur, whether you have children, whether you are married or in a relationship, we are going to go through things that weigh on us. Maybe you're struggling in your marriage, maybe you don't have the greatest relationship with your kids and it's put a lot of stress on you, maybe your business is not doing and being productive as it needs to be financially, and so that puts a lot of weight and stress on you. Number one, God always already knows those things, but God is looking for us to come to him and say, God, I just need your help in these areas. Will you take this burden off of me? Will you provide for me? I need the provision, I need the help in my own marriage, I need the strength, I need to know and understand how to lead myself so I can lead my wife and my children and my team and staff Leaders worry because they carry weight but God says, spend less time worrying. Cast all your cares upon Him worrying paralyzes us from living by faith. One of the most important decisions that you can ever make every single day is to focus on God and what he has called you to change and let everything else go. And number one, the first thing that he's ever caused us to change is change ourselves. The last thing that we're gonna talk about tonight is, how the rich be rich towards God. It says, put his kingdom above our own agenda. In Luke, again, it talks about the rich man, how he had storage. He built Barnes for all his earthly possessions, but God is saying, don't worry about the earthly possessions, have your riches. Not on earth, but in him, and so that's how we lead in. Another way, leading ourselves is, I'm not worried, goes back to the second one, I'm not worried about the provision of different things. I know that God is going to take care of me, He knows my every need, but I have to be obedient to his word, and so I have to put my faith and hope and love in God and my trust in God, I don't go out and. Put and now I wanna clarify this. There's nothing wrong with having a big home, there's nothing wrong with having an expensive car, there's nothing wrong with having, but here's what God is saying is those things should not become your God, they should not be Lord, in your life. I love to travel, I love to travel and speak in different places, I love going different places, but that cannot come before. My relationship with God, for those that are struggling in their leadership, you've gotta ask yourself the three questions is, what is your character like? Be honest with yourself, be vulnerable with yourself. Be transparent. What is your character like, number one. Number two is, are you going around worrying all the time or have you cast your worries and your care is on God? And number three is where? What are you serving? I love my wife, she's a gift from God, I love my children, they're a gift from God, I love my business, it's a gift from God, but none of those are in place of God. If all of them or any one of them were stripped away, I still have my God, and I'm a true witness of that, knowing that just four years ago I lost my first wife. After 14 years of marriage, I lost her to colon cancer, I lost her, I lost the gift that God gave me, but I still had, my God, I still had my ability to be able to lead within God. And so I just wanna encourage you that you can't outsource this step to someone else, you can't be in a place that saying somebody else can be the leader within my own home. The reason why marriages are failing today, the reason why parenting is failing today because we don't have godly men leading homes, there's tons of statistics out there about men that are not in homes guiding and helping and raising their children, the divorce rate is up. Society is attacking our marriages, the enemy is attacking our marriages and our children, and I just want to encourage you guys that number one, and this is an encouragement, but you are the hardest person to lead yourself, but you are the only one that can work on yourself, it's all a matter of choice. So my prayer for you guys is, if you change your mindset that you will change your mindset, you will change your world.

I love you guys, and I know there are some dynamic people out there listening across the country that can lead themself out of their own way, that can lead their marriages, that can lead their family, that can lead their business, they can lead themself and they can all do it God's way. I love you guys.

Stay tuned for next week as we go deeper into leading ourselves, leading our marriage, leading our family, and leading our business the way God created us, the lead. I love you guys, stay tuned, please go on Apple, go on iTunes, go on Google, Amazon podcasts and give us a rating, love to have five sources, but please, more importantly, give us a review.

I love you guys and we'll talk soon.




More from YouTube