Are You a Great Leader? Have these Qualities?
Perhaps you’re asking ‘How do I become a good leader?’ Let us explore what makes a great leader, characteristics of a great leader and how to be a good, better yet, a great leader. We’ll examine a specific example from two thousand years ago, whose profound and counter-cultural leadership style is still studied and followed to this day. Who is this great leader? What can you learn from his leadership? Read more to find out.
Recently, I did a series of lectures on leadership training. This teaching letter is taken from one of them. The message is called, “The Greatest Leaders”. The first four messages in the series are: “Discovering Who You Are”, “The Art of Leadership”, “Launching for Success”, and “People Business”.
These previous four messages are for leaders, but this fifth message is for leaders of leaders. How can you become a great leader? I will share from scripture and from my own personal experience. Here are five pillars of great leadership, as the scripture reveals them.
If you’d like to grow in your leadership traits, I included links to resources below.
Greatest leaders have these five leadership traits:
1. Always be a Servant.
2. Have Uncommon Strength.
3. Draw on the Wisdom from Above.
4. Possess Godly Charisma.
5. Walk in Dignity and Honor.
I encourage you to receive this teaching prayerfully and thoughtfully. We need great leaders. When God is seen as great in the world, it will be because He is great in His people.
1. Always be a Servant
Jesus proclaimed the greatest among you will be the servant of all (Mt. 20:25-28). If you want to be the greatest leader, be the best servant. Multi-national business prides itself on its dedication to serve its cliental. They have learned the secret; you serve people and it will come back to you.
Shortly before Jesus died, He gathered His disciples to Him and washed their feet. They felt it inappropriate, but Jesus taught by example. He said, “Do you understand what I have done for you? … You call me , ‘Teacher and Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you as an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.” Jn. 13:12-17
Jesus is the Servant King. I am reminded of Richard Roland Kirkland, the Civil War soldier who fought for the Confederate army. After his battalion slaughtered the soldiers of the Union Army, night fell. Eight hundred men lay dead or wounded on the battle field. Kirkland could not sleep all night due to the crying and moaning of the wounded enemy soldiers. As the sun rose he asked his commanding officer if he could go and take water and blankets to the wounded. At first his superior refused but after a while agreed to let him go. He climbed over the barrier wall amidst unfriendly bullet fire and advanced to help the enemy. The bullets stopped and he made several trips to help the dying soldiers. For a few moments the war stopped as he served his fellow man. What a great servant he proved himself to be that day. What soldier from his battalion would not want this man to be their leader in days to come. He who serves diligently will surely rule. Great leadership always begins with sacrificial, extravagant service. He who will be greatest will be your servant.
2. Have Uncommon Strength
This kind of strength means two things, we never quit and we always walk in courage.
When we feel our weakest is when we must be our strongest. Scripture tells us that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us (Phil. 4:13).
This strength is supernatural. Once we are sure that God has spoken and directed us, we press on and do not quit. This separates a son from a servant. A son takes ownership and does not run when the going gets tough. As Joshua discovered, you cannot go into the promised land without god-given strength and courage (Josh. 1). A great leader has uncommon strength. It is a God-given ability to press through and it is a prerequisite for great leadership.
3. Draw on the Wisdom from Above
James says the wisdom from above is pure, peace-loving, fruitful, merciful, considerate, impartial, submissive, and sincere (Js. 3:17). The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Pro. 9:10). Scripture says, wisdom is the principal thing (Pro. 4:7). It is the most important thing. Wisdom from above is not just knowledge or information; it is character. From godly character comes wisdom. It is not just being right; legalists can be right. Wisdom from above is peaceful; it brings godly results. To have it you cannot lean on your own understanding (Pro. 3:5-8)
4. Possess Godly Charisma
Charis, is the Greek word meaning grace. From this we get the biblical understanding of the Charismatic gifts. Charisma in a leader is a special grace that enables you to draw and inspire people. We are focusing on godly charisma because celebrities can have a likability, but they may not be godly. That is not the leadership we are looking for.
Jesus had amazing charisma. Almost everyone who saw or heard Jesus was drawn to Him. The common people received Him gladly. Even children, sinners, sick folk, the rich and the poor wanted to follow Him. He had amazing charisma.
Godly charisma comes when someone speaks with authority, and is moral, convincing and credible. Charisma is outgoing, outspoken, and is able to stir emotions and passions in those who follow. A charismatic person can tell great stories, speak well, make conversation, and show extravagant kindness.
Jesus was the most charismatic man who ever lived. You cannot be a great leader unless you are charismatic. See if you can exercise the necessary requirements.
5. Walk in Dignity and Honor
Dignity and honor are reflections of God’s glory. They are the inner beauty of the Lord shining in us (1Pe. 3:4) Peter speaks of it as a gentle and quiet spirit. You do not have to be quiet to have a quiet spirit; it is simply a spirit free from torment and strife.
That is the true spirit of nobility. Psalm 8:5-7 tells us that dignity and honor are gifts from God. The priests of old were instructed to adorn themselves with sacred garments to express dignity. We may not wear robes but we must wear dignity. The Proverbs 31 woman clothes herself with strength and honor. She is an amazing leader and a very classy woman of God. Solomon clothed himself with glory, dignity and honor (Lk. 12:27)
Great leaders have these qualities. And to reiterate, our world needs great leaders. When God is seen as great in the world, it will be because He is great in His people.
The church will need amazing leaders as we get closer to the end of the age.
Revival requires great leadership, not just for collecting the harvest, but also for the uniting the people, giving godly focus and direction, and for the process of mentoring and discipleship.
Great new leaders will soon emerge. Perhaps you will be one of them. Seek the Lord …
Ask Him to help you become a powerful leader; one who is full of the Holy Spirit, who loves God and people. You may think you are not qualified, but we are in a new season and all things are now possible.
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