Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Lead On...

I’ve been thinking about a specific leader in my life that I greatly admire, and then thinking about why I admire him. What makes a great leader?

Some of the qualities I appreciate most in leaders are the following:

Teachable hearts. Here’s the thing—you can be well-educated, well-traveled, well-read, and have tons of ministry and life experience, but if you don't have a humble heart and act like you know everything and think you’re smarter than everyone, I don't really care to be under your leadership. Good leaders seek to find what God is teaching them in every situation—be it one of adversity or celebration—and invite people into their lives to continually challenge them and to learn from. That approach to life is actually something that I’ve noticed in all of the wisest people I know.

Availability. Boundaries are important, of course, but a good leader is not someone who’s known for being too busy for people. Don’t ever hesitate to abandon a task to sit down and connect with someone. What good is leadership if you’re unavailable to lead? How useless is wisdom and encouragement if you don’t make the time to communicate it? Why would someone allow you to lead them if you don’t show them that you care?

Reliance on God. I do not have to question a responsible leader’s judgment because I know he or she has sought God’s wisdom and waited for confirmation before making a decision. We need to have trust and confidence in a leader's ability to make good decisions without any sort of agenda.

Actively listening. Don’t jump to conclusions. Don’t make assumptions. Just listen first. Being a great listener is one of the most profound ways to lead…isn’t that weird when you think about it? Sitting down and shutting up is the first step to being invited into someone’s life to lead. And it’s not just the words that we should listen to. What are people’s eyes and hearts communicating?

Fun. Fun helps produce creativity and joy. It reminds us not to take ourselves too seriously. It energizes, refreshes, improves morale, excites, and lifts spirits. Fun is important; it shouldn’t be minimized to a trivial luxury.

I'm thankful for the people in my life that are examples of godly leadership. What are some qualities that you value in a leader?

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