Earlier this week I was asked by someone to identify what I think are the top 4-5 character traits of a godly leader. Great question!
I’ve written about leadership many times, but the only other place I remember writing about my “top five” is on my C.V. (it contains both a “philosophy of leadership” and “philosophy of teaching”). So … what are my top five characteristics for a follower of Jesus who leads others? Here is what I said:
- Spiritual health and holiness. Above all else, a leader’s personal relationship with God is the most important. Leaders are disciples first. Spiritual maturity and a loyal/holy lifestyle are the foundation on which all other leadership characteristics and abilities are built.
- Integrity and trustworthiness. If people cannot trust you, they will not follow you. Do you follow through on what you say you will do? Do you not do what you say you won’t do? Are you consistent in all of your leadership relationships? Do you tell the truth?
- Innovation and strategic vision. Leadership is movement, not management. Do you see the problems with the organization/team’s mission, model, processes, decisions, etc, and can you see viable solutions to the problems? An effective leader sees beyond the status quo, identifies innovative solutions, and implements them in ways that are sustainable.
- Ability to communicate and inspire. If people do not know where you are leading, they will not follow. Paint a picture of the future, ask others to join you, stir their hearts so that they catch the vision and passion of where the organization/team could go!
- Humility and team-building. Leadership is not about you. Surround yourself with the best people you can, and equip them to excel. Great leaders are not threatened by others, but rather, they invest in others so that amazing things can happen!
Well, there are a few of my thoughts about Christian leadership. What do you think? What would you add or remove from the list?