Ten Characteristics of Great Leaders

Mar 26, 2014

young son helping dad

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 next few posts, we will be highlighting and discussing these 10 important leadership traits.

What do great leaders look like?

1. Servant

Servanthood is one of the main building blocks of the Kingdom. When people come to our churches, we want them to know right up front that they have joined a family. They are members of a house, not a hotel or a restaurant, We want everybody involved serving in some capacity in the church. We want them to develop a sense of ownership and pride in their church. The alternative is people showing up expecting to be served.

The biggest sin that Western Society has to deal with is that of Self-Centeredness. If we look at a list of sins and character flaws, they all flow out of a self-centered lifestyle. When we allow this to grow in the Church, it prevents quality growth.

Many people’s problems flow out of self-centeredness as well. We have to break the cycle. Getting people to look outward and focus on other people often is a great cure for depression and other emotional issues that people deal with. If I only focus on my own problems, it is easy to bogged down in depression.

Jesus told his followers, “But among you it should be quite different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be the slave of all. For even I, the Son of Man, came here not to be served but to serve others, and to give my life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10: 43-45)

Does this work in the business world?

What would happen if we adopted a servant’s attitude at work? What would happen if you volunteered to take on more responsibility, assisted a colleague who has gotten behind, got to work early and were willing to stay late? I wonder how many doors this attitude might open for you professionally? Give it a try!

2. Son

Philippians 2:19-22 “If the Lord Jesus is willing, I hope to send Timothy to you soon. Then when he comes back, he can cheer me up by telling me how you are getting along. I have no one else like Timothy, who genuinely cares about your welfare. All the others care only for themselves and not for what matters to Jesus Christ. But you know how Timothy has proved himself. Like a son with his father, he has helped me in preaching the Good News.”

A. Sons carry the DNA of the house. They carry its values inside them. This is why we emphasize raising up leaders from inside. I would much rather raise up a leader from within than hire one from the outside and hope he or she eventually cultivates our DNA.

B. Sons have pride in their house. Sons speak well of their church or business. They are always looking for ways to make it look good. I am always thrilled when I see people fall in love with their church and start arriving early to serve and make sure everything is ready for the services.

C. Sons serve the vision of the house. They don’t serve their own agenda. They are committed to serving the vision of their pastor. This is also true in the workplace. If I have a different vision from that of my boss, I am probably not going to last very long at that company.

D. Sons accept discipline in the house. Sons are willing to be trained and discipled. They are teachable and willing to listen to someone who is further down the road.

E. Sons give birth to other sons. The best leaders don’t create followers, they create other leaders.

To be continued…

Would you consider partnering with Annie and I as we serve and develop leaders in Brazil? Just click here to make a tax-deductible gift. Obrigado! (Thank you!)

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