I heard a quote from Charles Stanley a few weeks ago where he essentially said, "When God wants to use a man for something great, he breaks him over and over again."
The thought of this is a bit frightening as I think it's a natural desire of many men to do something great. It doesn't necessarily mean that we all want to rule over others or have our position elevated, but that we want to see our lives have a substantial impact. I know I want my life to be one of influence and positive impact and I have also come to understand the responsibility that comes with that desire. Part of that realization involves my recognition of my own failings and the need for continual improvement. I believe that's where God's power comes into play.
For any man to be used for a higher purpose we have to shed our unhealthy, selfish practices and beliefs. This is a process that involves some level of pain, but which is absolutely necessary to transform us as leaders. Ignoring the journey of refinement might protect a man from tough lessons, but it will certainly prevent him from lasting impact.
We can't expect to do great things without paying a personal price.