Ever notice that monumental things always cast a big shadow?

It seems intuitive when we are talking about trees, buildings, and statues. It is less intuitive when we are talking about gifts, personalities, and strengths; but my experience is that those things function the same way.

People with extraordinary gifts often have an extraordinary shadow side. And (just like with statues, trees, and buildings) the shadow side often resembles the bright side.

An extraordinarily gifted speaker often has the ability to run people into the ground with his words. A person with the ability to make quick, decisive judgments often has the ability to marginalize wise counselors in his path. A good thinker often tends to think everyone else needs a good lesson.

All that is not to say that leaders with huge gifts should be universally looked at with suspicion. It is to say that leaders who seem too good to be true probably are. It's also to warn leaders who have strong gifts to know that they probably have large shadows as well.

The self-aware leader, especially one who lives his life in light of the Cross, will always seek to know the size of his shadow and will invite others to shine the light on that dark side in order to eliminate the shadow his gifts inevitably cast.