Articles of Faith: The Gifted Leader

Know Thyself

Know Thyself

This post is part of our Sunday Series titled “Articles of Faith.”
We investigate leadership lessons from the Bible.
See the whole series here. Published only on Sundays.

Have you ever taken a personality test, or a behavioral assessment, or any other type of question-based examination to help you and your boss and your co-workers get a better handle on how to deal with you. Have you taken a 360-degree feedback assessment that includes all of your co-workers, boss and subordinates along with you in the exam?

Well if you have, congratulations! This is the first step in not going totally crazy at work with working with others!

You Come Pre-Wired

Of all the assessments that I have taken, one of the best ways that I have heard that describes people’s “natural tendencies” toward this or that resultant is a way to describe their innate or inborn DNA as a “pre-wired” condition. This description provides some flexibility to what is normally describes “hard-wired” conditions or behaviors. It gives room for the nurture side of the nature/nurture equation and allows the idea of personal growth for people.

An example of this could be described like this:

A person can be “pre-wired” to be confrontational to the point of distraction, but can learn to modify their reactions in the future so that they cause less friction or harm. Another example could be in the area of self expression. A normally introverted person who feels drained when having to speak before a live audience may learn endurance techniques that help energize them in those types of situations.

Know Thyself

The idea of knowing, understanding, and harnessing one’s self is one of life’s greater challenges. However, if accomplished, it is also a significant key to performance, self-satisfaction, and good amount of happiness.

When it comes to leadership, knowing thyself is the very first step in any successful leadership journey. The very best leaders know their strengths, their struggles, and their natural tendencies. They build teams around them that can fill in the missing pieces so that the greater mission can be completed most effectively.

Leaders are incomplete. They need teams. They need others to accomplish goals of consequence.

But outside of well-known assessments like StrengthsFinders, the DiSC profile, MBTI, or one of my favorites called RightPath that help organizations use their talent more effectively, there are other assessments that take a much closer look at something called your spiritual gifts.

Your Greatest Assessment

After taking the Unwrap Your Spiritual Gifts assessment by John Maxwell and Dan Reiland found here, I found that I was “pre-wired” with the gift of faith. This means that I can find it quite easy to believe things that I cannot see. The internal connections between head, heart, stomach, and soul are multifaceted and rich. I would jump off a cliff for Jesus knowing the He is there to catch me. I just know it. I can’t see it, but that doesn’t impeded me.

To others who do not have this gift of faith, or for those who don’t understand this gift, I could look risky, strange, odd, goofy, unrefined, silly, stupid, weird, or worse.

But for those who see the peace and assurance that I have in my life with my faith in Jesus Christ, they see it as a pure gift. I do know myself and I know on what I stand. The power that this gives me on a daily basis helps me lead others. It helps me look to understand other’s strengths, struggles, tendencies, and gifts. It helps me assemble teams that work well together.


Here is what the Bible says about spiritual gifts?

There are different kinds of gifts but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. (1 Cor. 12:4-5)

Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. (1 Pet. 4:10)

Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. (Romans 12:4-6a)

Although opinions differ on the actual number of spiritual gifts, God’s Word clearly indicates a variety of gifts.


My questions to leaders who serve others in business, organizations, ministry or anywhere in between is this:

Who are you? I mean, who are you really?

Why are you here? I mean, why are you here really?

What is your purpose? I mean, what is your purpose really?

Take this free assessment and find out how you were “pre-wired” for your greater purpose.

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Tom Schulte is Executive Director of Linked 2 Leadership
He provides leadership training fit for the Blackberry-Attention-Span

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  2. Janna Rust on July 19, 2010 at 9:21 pm

    Tom, this is a good spiritual gifts assessment. I just went over this one with a group last night as part of a class I coach/teach on the Blueprint for Life study for Life Purpose discovery and implementation.

    In case you are interested, the best spiritual gifts assessment I’ve found (or rather, a client led me to it) is within a book called “Discover Your God-Given Gifts by Don & Katie Fortune. Feel free to contact me if you want to hear more about it from my perspective. I’m not affiliated with them or anything so I’m “promoting” it just because its a good resource. 🙂

    Keep up the great work here!

  3. learningtheorg on July 26, 2010 at 7:15 pm

    Actually with the terrific discoveries and clarity coming from the Human Genome project and legitimate peer reviewed literature over the last 1-15 years, on brain research especially that affecting learning and motivation.

    We now are able with confidence, to welcome the realization that we are not pre-wired to specific DNA or personalities. as a master switch of our capacity.

    Some have presumed for legitimate reasons that DNA controls everything or alternatively that nurture was in control of our resulting personalities and behavior. Inherited traits are fungible within limits.

    And further that intelligence is not something set but able to be developed within limits. It is not all set and determined at birth. Even twins are not all that identical.

    We have also learned that the carrot & stick or reward-punishment behavioral model confines what possible motivation produced to linear, superficial regularly scheduled tasks not work requiring creative, higher level thinking. It’s not about the quality of intellect of the performer as much as it is of the reason productive outcomes are generated by intrinsic satisfaction.

    And yes, that is also reinforced by legitimate peer- reviewed research over a great number of years.

    And yes, it was like Thomas More’s presentation to the council in A Man For All Seasons when the idea of a third motivator in human work was first introduced. Castigation, cries of charlatan, removal from a graduate program, etc.

    That said, the ability spoken of in the article is possible and does allow for though it doesn’t speak to it for the above facts.

  4. Tammy Redmon on July 28, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    Thank you for this great article Tom. As believers we know that God has purposed us for something far greater than our mind can truly comprehend. That He purposed us for a season. What you point out is the importance of exploring our gifts and natural traits and even our learned traits to best walk out the calling on our lives.

    Don’t rob the world of what you are purposed for, God gifted you with more!

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