I've been traveling around for the last 15 years. In those years I have had the privilege of meeting some of the greatest leaders on the planet. In that same time, I've gotten to see different types of leadership in action. The one thing that defines a leader, that stands out above the rest, is their character. John MacArthur said it best” According to scripture virtually everything that truly qualifies a person for leadership is directly related to character.”
In an age where mainstream media seems to want to help us dictate what character looks like and who leaders are, it’s good to know what to look for in a leader, and how to lead in your sphere of influence. Here are three qualities of every great leader:
1. THEY LOVE
The priority of heaven is clear: “If you don’t have love then you are nothing but a noise!” (1 Corinthians 13:1, paraphrased). Leaders who extinguish love in the process of reaching goals have achieved earth’s priorities . . . maybe. But the higher goals of heaven require us to cultivate and preserve love. Leaders who love and foster a culture of love around them have a high value for freedom. Freedom is the essential condition for—and purpose of—love. When we use our freedom to love as intended, our freedom and the freedom of those around are protected and cultivated.
2. THEY ASK GOOD QUESTIONS
When speaking to Job, God said, “Here we go! Prepare yourself like a man. I am going to ask you the questions and you are going to answer me. There is good stuff in you, Job, and I am going to call it out of you” (Job 38:3, 40:7, paraphrased). God applied pressure to Job, but He did it in the spirit of gentleness, in that through His questions, He clearly communicated the message that He did not need to control Job. He protected the opportunity for Job to discover what was truly going on inside him by inviting him to engage his will in the process. That is how God handles somebody He loves. This type of confrontation brings freedom.
3. THEY ARE CONFRONTABLE
Classically we like to interpret confrontation of leadership as dishonor. But God Himself was confrontable! In Genesis 18 there is a perfect picture of this. On His way to destroy Sodom, God checks in with His friend, Abraham, to see what he might say about all of it. He tells Abraham that there is an outcry against Sodom and He has to do something about it. Abraham, whose nephew Lot lives in Sodom, asks God, “Would you also destroy the righteous with the wicked?” He then goes to ask if God would spare the city for fifty righteous, then forty, thirty, twenty, and finally, ten. The whole time, God allowed Abraham to confront Him, and responded “Yes! You’re right. I would spare a city for that many…” God is confrontable! Abraham trusted God and God trusted Abraham. If God made Himself open to confrontation by a man, then it begs the question, who is above confrontation?
How are you leading? Don’t be afraid to ask yourself good questions, and remember—this is a process!
PS. There is still time to join us at a discounted rate on the Leadership Track at the Life Academy if you're interested sign up here.