By: Undre Griggs, Jr
Imagine someone you believe to be a great leader. They could be someone you personally know or they could be someone you read about or admire from afar. It is likely they each have a few core traits that helped lead them to success. It may be their drive, willingness to learn, and their ability to leave their comfort zone. They may be forward thinking and adventurous; willing to challenge the status quo. But what does the Bible say makes an effective leader? We will explore this over the next couple of months as we list the top ten (biblical) traits of an effective leader.
An effective leader provides a vision that benefits the whole more than the self. If a leader appears to frequently make decisions where they are the primary beneficiary; people will grow weary and dissatisfied. Effective leaders are willing to help people improve their performance and they are willing to invest in their success. Oftentimes, leaders do not want to invest in the betterment of their team because it can be expensive, time consuming, and even considered a waste of time by some. Those who are humble will find the time and motivation to develop their team’s success.
Philippians 2:3-4 (NASB): Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.
When a leader esteems his or her team greater than themselves, they will make sure their team is equipped for victory. Effective leaders will ensure proper training takes place and they will make sure the voice of the team is heard. Effective leaders will reward their team and share the credit during accomplishments; while taking the blunt of the criticism during failures. Whether that person is an executive, team captain, or face of an organization; they build honor among the organization as they continue to make decisions that benefit the whole more than the self.
Proverbs 22:4 (ESV): The reward for humility and fear of the Lord is riches and honor and life.
No matter the success we find in life, we should remind ourselves that we all start out in the same place. We start with little to no knowledge and someone was willing to teach and invest in us. Realistically, whatever leadership position we obtain required someone to take a chance on us.
Romans 12:3 (NIV): For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.
We would do well to remind ourselves that all good things come from our Father in heaven. Since He took the time to think of us before Himself, He sent His son to die on the cross in our stead. Without His son, we would be lost and dead in our trespasses. While we do not have the ability to make this significant of an impact in someone’s life, our humility will make a memorable impact. Let us continue to esteem, encourage, and train the next generation of leaders as we were when we were in their place.