What Does a Great Leader Look Like?

Whether you are trying to hire a person for your business, vote on the next staff hire at your church or are in the throes of deciding who you will vote for this fall politically, these actions are all a part of a bigger search…

a search to find a leader.

Someone to follow

Someone to trust

Someone that makes good decisions

Someone with a good character.

We are all looking for the next great leader, but do we really know what one looks like?

Maybe this will help…

at worst it will get us started.

What does a good leader…

a Godly leader look like?

1. He is tactful in all his dealings with people.  If it is a sensitive situation he handles it with tact. If he is going on someone else’s turf, he extends territorial courtesy to make sure he is welcome there. In his interactions with people he intuitively perceives the situation he is in and reacts accordingly… with tact… never otherwise.

2. He has courage.  No matter if the facts are bad or good he deals with them with courage.  This is fully seen both in moral situations and when he stays faithful to God’s calling on his life regardless of what the “polls” say.

3. He is very decisive. His decisions are always clear and he will take responsibility for the consequences of his actions both when they are good and when they are not so good.

4. He encourages those around him. Especially those who have teamed up with him to complete “the task at hand.”  Again, this is a case where even in the mist of discouraging circumstances he sticks with the task he has been called to do, finding a way to rise above any negative situations or events while being a strong source of encouragement for those who are with him. Encouragement that gives them the strength they need to endure and accomplish a task they may have thought impossible.

5. Faith and vision guides his path.  In fact a leader understands that faith is vision, for there are times in every leaders life that “the vision” gets a bit blurry…  but faith keeps us in the game when we can’t see like we used too.

6. He values relationships and does all he can to keep them (short of compromising moral beliefs).  It has been said that a man’s ability to make and maintain enduring friendships will (in general) be the measure of his ability to lead.

7. He has a confident modesty. Fully realizing who he really is, he acts on who God has called and is making him to be.  This helps the leader share openly to those he is leading. Both things that are weaknesses as well as personal strengths.  This helps a leader maintain a personal sense of equality with those he is called to lead.

8. He has a progressive humility (a phrase not unique to me but a powerful one). This comes from an inward sense of indebtedness to Jesus which produces a humble-self image.

9. He has a way with words. If he is a preacher he knows how to get the most out of a passage of scripture… taylor making the message to fit the people he is speaking to. His words always breathe a spirit of loving concern for those he is addressing.

10. He listens well. Listening to what people are saying enables him to cut through the “mess” and arrive at the core of any issue.  To do this he must listen in a way that prevents him from jumping the gun,  from prejudging the issue. We always make a mistake when we make an assessment without fully listening to those talking to us.

11. He is broad-minded.  Always aware that every situation he is in, or giving guidance to, is only a small piece that is at play in a much larger arena.

12. He understands the necessity of patience. He understands that this is essential in leading a person by virtue of influence rather than command.

13.  He knows the importance of self-discipline.   This is what keeps a leader on track and prevents him from falling into temptations, especially those that would ruin everything He has or is trying to accomplish.

14. Every task he sets his mind to, he goes at it with sincerity and integrity.

15. He relies on spiritual wisdom to guide him and realizes that spiritual wisdom gives him freedom while providing needed restraint from needless rash or eccentric actions that lead to regret.

16. He oozes with a zeal that fuels his intensity to accomplish the thing he sees needs to be done… the thing he knows he is called to do.

These 16 things describe the type of leadership we need in America…


provide a picture of the type of leader you and I need to be.

2 thoughts on “What Does a Great Leader Look Like?

  1. A shout out of thanks to John Maxwell, Oswald Sanders, Bill Hybels, and Andy Stanley whose books, conferences and monthly leadership lessons have molded my view of leadership and has trained me in more ways than I realize.

  2. Finding a good leader is quite hard if the respective person is not responsible, open-minded, determined to reach the proposed goals, capable of knowing how to motivate others.
    I’ve learned about this subject at a Toronto leadership training course, which was held last year.

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