Ten Characteristics of Great Leaders- Part Four
I recently taught a 4 week course at C3 Curitiba based on Dr. Phil Pringle’s excellent book, Leadership Excellence: 10 Characteristics of Great Leaders. Over the last few posts, we have highlighted and discussed these 10 important leadership traits. This is the last post in the series. You can read Part Three here if you missed it.
8. Secure- Confident- we want to follow people who know where they are going.
Insecure leaders are usually controlled by fear. They don’t trust those around them. They are hesitant to give others responsibility. They are quick to shift the blame to others and quick to take the credit for someone else’s work. Insecure leaders are micro-managers.
On the other hand, a secure leader trusts his people. Their goal is to release others and give them responsibility. When a team member makes a mistake, a secure leader will take responsibility. When a team member succeeds, the secure leader will make sure everyone knows that team member’s name.
A. Self-Image, Self-Esteem and Self-Worth. These are not bad things. We can’t lead well if we don’t love ourselves. Jesus said we are to love our neighbors as we love ourselves.
Romans 12:3 Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us.
B. Leading people who are more talented than we are. There will come a time when we will be leading people that are older, more talented, more experienced, and even smarter than we are. A secure leader is able to harness his team’s talent and experience and make the decisions needed to keep moving forward.
King Saul was a weak leader.
King David attracted other strong leaders.
9. Spiritual– This doesn’t mean “weird.” Too often, Christians come across as strange people. They use words that no one else uses and they end up raising walls instead of building bridges to those who are not believers.
Jesus was the most “normal” person that ever lived. Lost people loved to be around him. Children were attracted to him. He did not repel people. They were drawn to him.
Spirituality: A constant connection with God/A constant awareness of other people’s needs.
True Spirituality Manifest itself in:
10. Self-Control- Discipline
How many great ideas never come to pass? Dreams never fulfilled? The world lays at the feet of the disciplined person.
A. The Tongue- Leaders, of all people, must guard what they say. Leader’s words carry more weight and can do much more damage. At the same time, a leader’s words can encourage and provide the timely advice that someone needs.
B. Our Attitude- A leader must be consistent in their attitude and demeanor. If we are up one day and down the next, our people will always be on edge. A leader’s attitude goes a long way to shaping the atmosphere of the organization.
C. Our Mind or Thoughts- Our thoughts will always take us somewhere. Where do we want to go? Paul said that our thoughts must be brought under the control of Christ. If we are undisciplined in our thought lives, the rest of our life will be undisciplined as well.
D. Living Clean and Pure Lives- “Who will ascend to the hill of the Lord? He who has clean hands and a pure heart.” Our authority as leaders does not come from our title or our position. Our real authority comes as we consistently live a life of integrity. Our people know that we are not perfect and that we will make mistakes. They can see, however, that we are trying to live a life worthy of imitation.
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If you are interested in reading Phil Pringle’s book, Top 10 Qualities of a Great Leader, I would highly recommend it. This is the latest and most up-to-date version. You can even read a few pages for free on Amazon!