Imitate Don't Copy (Find Your Own Voice)

This was a draft that was posted by mistake... in that it was incomplete thoughts... I did a quick touch-up on it... still not as finished as I would like, but use it as a starting point...


Imitation means you learn from the example of others as they model the way, but don't make yourself a "cheap copy" of someone else.


Borrow the best you can find, but process it deeply and allow your processing and life experiences to morph what you find.


Piece together in new creative combination, differnet best ideas/methods/models from others. There are very few leaders who are truly original. Most of our "originality" is really a creative rearranging of the best we find from others. That itself is an act of originally.

While you are "given" a personality, temperament, wiring, inclination, leaning, tendency - there is a lot of room for "self-creation." I use that last phrase in a fully "Christ-dependent" way. You are fearfully and wonderfully made, you are the workmanship of God . . . AND . . . you have freedom to explore and design the Brand of You. 


While you have a fundamental identity in Christ, there is a secondary and also significant identity that is the Uniquely You version or display of your self to the world around. Do not neglect the essential identity in the pursuit of the secondary one.


It takes years to do this. You are a living, growing, evolving, Human Becoming. What is beautiful is that you will be doing this for the rest of your life. You may find, even late in life, substantial new things God does in you. You will most likely have several "re-engineerings" of your soul. Okay, re-engineering may be a turnoff. So think of reframing, renewing, re-imaginging, recasting if that language is more appealing. The point is - expect to have some change and at times, upheaval about your secondary identity.


Learn to love who you are and who you are becoming. You are already and you are not yet. Enjoy the already, anticipate the not yet. Be at peace with the journey.


Find metaphors and images that move you and capture the essence of your identity. For example, I am using several images like, the leader as: architect, artisan, ambassador, agriculturalist, conductor... while they may not mean much to you with just the title, I have reflected on what each image-metaphor means for how I will lead.


And while you are in this process, be a mentor to help others in the same process.

Brian K. Rice
Leadership ConneXtions International