Tag: Character

The Desire to Lead

If there is one component needed to characterize a leader, it is desire. Leadership requires the desire to lead, to develop the character necessary to lead.

We tend to do what we want to do. When that desire exists, nothing stands in the way. When we want to do something, we will find a way.

The opposite is also true. When we do not want to do something, it does not matter the consequence(s), or the reward(s), we will not do it.

When we desire to lead as God planned, nothing will stand in the way of our achieving His plan.

Servant Leaders

Leadership is not a located idea. Leadership is universal in application and is not limited to race, gender, age, or position.

Anyone can lead from anywhere.

We must continually learn from others about leadership. When we learn about the sacrifice, dedication, passion, and attitude of true servant leaders, we should be encouraged to do the same.

They give their lives to prepare others.
They dedicate their time to the work.
They love their people.
They work to serve, not to be served.

The example provided by them demonstrates the character needed for those who learn from them.

Testify, Magnify, and Glorify

I once saw an email tag with this phrase: “let my words testify…let my actions magnify…let my heart glorify the Lord.”

The words we speak, the actions we demonstrate, and the attitudes we portray become the building blocks for our leadership.

The church, the world, co-workers, friends, neighbors, and our family are all watching. They measure our character by the words and actions that display our attitude.

Spiritual leaders must constantly and diligently guard every aspect of life.

Let our words testify…Let our actions magnify…Let our hearts glorify the Lord.

True Leadership

The study of leadership will always carry powerful principles and a bit of subjectivity when dealing with others. The various styles of leadership continue to find value depending on the setting, situation, individual, and followers.

When looking for a way to determine someone’s leadership ability, J. K. Rowling said it well, “If you want to see the true measure of a man, watch how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.”

If you want to become the type of leader others want to follow, then begin with an examination of the way others are treated who might be considered inferior. Here is where we see true character.

Essential Leadership

What is essential and what is not? Spiritually speaking, there are a number of components that play a key role.

1) Character: The late General Schwarzkopf clearly indicated that character trumps strategy.

2) Passion: The origin of this word involves suffering. What are we willing to give up to lead?

3) Vision: Vision is about faith, and faith is critical to the development of leadership vision.

4) Goals: Without goals we have no clear way of knowing where we are going.

These are only four areas, but each of them are essential to effective leadership.

Strong Character

Advancing the development of leadership is a task that cannot wait until a future time, and the foundation begins with character.

To strengthen character consider these suggestions.

1) 10-10-10 Principle: As Suzy Welch wrote, we must learn to ask, “Can I live with this decision 10 minutes, 10 months, and 10 years from now?”

2) Character Audit: Take a values inventory and ask, “What has greater value: Character or money? Character or achievement? Character or popularity?” When inconsistencies exist, change.

3) Challenge Hypocrisy: Regardless of where we are or who we are around, our character must reflect consistency.

These three suggestions strengthen our character for better leadership.

Leadership Compass

A compass is an instrument containing a magnetized pointer that shows the direction of magnetic north and bearings from it.

A number of other ideas are also associated with a compass: a moral compass, intellectual compass, spiritual compass, and the list goes on.

Leaders need a compass. There are elements of a moral, emotional, intellectual, economic, and spiritual nature that factor into our leadership.

Remember that, attacking someone’s character only damages our own, even if we are unaware of it. Speaking against others does not build our own esteem, but demeans it.

Pointing people to Christ is never accomplished by destroying them, but rather approaching them in biblical love.

The Right Character

Leaders know stressful situations will come. The obvious concern involves how we deal with those situations and the consequences.

We also know how our character influences those decisions. Therefore, we must strive to maintain the kind of character that moves us toward right decisions.

Our oldest son once said, “As leaders, the ability to make the right decision during a stressful situation is made easier by having the right character because all the unethical choices are automatically removed.”

Think about it. When leaders possess and maintain the right character, choices are clearer because any choice that borders on an unethical intent is not an option.

Indifference and Lethargy

We live in a world too often characterized by indifference and lethargy.

Leaders must find ways to prevent and overcome these characteristics in the church.

What does this really mean? It means we must…

1) Increase the desire of God’s people to be together.
2) Fan the flame of enthusiasm for sharing the gospel.
3) Energize the creativity of brothers and sisters in Christ.
5) Strengthen the hands of God’s faithful.
6) Lift up the hearts that are weak and struggling.

When leaders see the opportunity and do something about it, preparing to make the needed improvements, persevering through the challenges, we overcome indifference and lethargy.

Constant Leaders

Leaders who are constant display persistence, consistency, faithfulness, and they are unchanging.

When leaders are persistent, they are resolved, driven with purpose. Leaders who are consistent represent stability that is dependable. A faithful leader demonstrates loyalty and devotion. The unchanging character of a leader provides enduring, yet predictable follow through.

Obviously, more could be said about each of these, but the overall focus is defining the constant nature of leadership and how it looks within the perspective of followers.