Limited Edition

Today we celebrate a birthday in the Kiedis household. Our third son turns twenty-five; that’s a quarter of a century! WOW. Paul's birthday got me thinking about his uniqueness . . . and yours . . . and leadership. Paul has always had an organizational bent. When he was five I arrived home to his triumphant announcement: “Dad, I rearranged your workbench today.” He is hardwired for business too. Paul was selling Gatorade to thirsty gym rats before he was ten, had his sister on the payroll by 12, and was running a successful start-up at 21. He has been fun to watch, and all the more because of his generous nature. Seeing the uniqueness of Paul reminds me of the Psalmist’s words:

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance;in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. (Psalm 139:13-16 ESV)

Those special strengths are ultimately God’s doing; what we do with them is ours. Yesterday I mentioned the book, First Break All The Rules, in which leadership expert Marcus Buckingham presents the Manager's Mantra: "People don't change that much. Don't waste time trying to put in what was left out. Try to draw out what was left in. That is hard enough.”[1]

I learn a few key lessons from all of this. First, celebrate your God-given uniqueness. To paraphrase a wise old preacher, “Every person is a limited edition of one.” Second, be the best you that you can be for God. You are a priceless original. Don’t settle for being a knockoff of someone else. Third, the art of leadership is “to draw out what was left in” those around you. Throw away your cookie-cutter mold. Take people for who they are and build on their strengths.

Knock-offs are everywhere. Don’t settle for anything less than the limited edition!

MY PRAYER: Father, give me eyes to see the “limited editions” that I lead. Help me to draw out the unique nuances of who you have made them to be.

Copyright © 2010 Tommy Kiedis

[1] Marcus Buckingham (1999), First Break All The Rules, p. 79.