Strong leaders share a number of characteristics. After years of watching leaders and reading books by the experts, I developed a course on leadership training for those who served under me. After leaving church staff positions, I took that material and wrote a book to help present and future leaders take stock of their own characteristics and find help to grow.*
If you’re considering leadership (perhaps because someone has asked you), don’t compare yourself to long-time very successful leaders. It’s great to watch them to figure out what makes them tick, but remember that they have grown through experience, and you will, too.
If you are currently a leader in ordinary places or big ones, when did you last take time to analyze how well you’re doing? Often we get so busy that we forget to evaluate ourselves as we judge whether we’re achieving our purposes. If we do self-assessment, we may focus too much on skills and not enough on character.
Although teachability is not on my list of needed characteristics, it’s a huge plus for leaders—new or old.
I’ve learned as much, or maybe more, from watching poor leaders than great ones. It’s far more difficult to figure out what makes strong leaders successful than it is to see obvious weaknesses. My tendency with poor leaders is avoid them because their leadership drives me crazy. To grow, however, I do watch and learn from them what to avoid.
Think about it. Low group morale may reveal that the leader lacks integrity, so no one trusts her. When each person on a team has her own agenda, perhaps the leader is failing to communicate vision well. When a leader consistently promotes herself, she reveals her focus on self, not Christ.
As this is the first part of a series on what makes a good leader, I’ll link to the other parts as they are posted.
Get my book for more details and practical help in growing in all the areas: From Ordinary Woman to Spiritual Leader: Grow your Influence. West Bow Press, 2012. Paperbacks at kaydaigle.com or Kindle on Amazon.