Owning The Gap

The number one trait people desire in those who lead them is honesty. Honesty means telling it like it is, embracing reality, and stripping off the Emperor’s new clothes. People already know most of our weaknesses. They live with our gaps everyday. People don’t expect us to be perfect. They do expect us to acknowledge the obvious. The question they are asking is: Will my leader own the gap between what what he or she says and does?

One hallmark of servant leaders is their ability to grow in public – to own the gap.

The apostle Paul, among the greatest of servant leaders, knew what it meant to grow in public. He frequently wrote of his own blunders. He told aspiring church pastors that yearning to oversee people is a noble task. After listing several fundamental criteria for leadership, including a well-balanced blend of character qualities and competencies, he closed with an invitation to grow.

“Practice these things,” Paul said, “devote yourself to them, so that all may see your progress.”

Lesson for us: Learn to own the gap.

Quotes from 1 Timothy 3:1 & 4:15

By Ken

Dr. Ken Cochrum (DMin, Bethel University) is Vice President of Global Digital Strategies at Cru (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ) in Orlando, Florida. An avid cyclist and aspiring guitarist, he also holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering from The University of Texas and a Masters of Arts in Biblical Studies from Dallas Theological Seminary. He recently co-founded, a movement passionate about connecting people to Jesus using digital strategies. He previously served as vice president of Cru’s student-led movements worldwide. He and his wife Ann spent 13 years in East Asia where they raised their two children. Ken blogs regularly at

2 replies on “Owning The Gap”

Love the words “own the gap”. Reminds me of what Dan Allender says, “to the degree you face and name and deal with your failures as a leader” you’ll create a place where others will want to work with you.
Growing in public is hard. It feels easier for awhile to follow the 3 P’s of hiding: Positioning, Posturing, and Preening. -kb

Wow! Thanks so much, especially in sharing 1 Timothy 4:15 to support your point. I have taken on new responsibilities this past year. The further I go, the larger the gaps. Thanks for your guidance and reassurance!

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