the shape of leadership

The Character of a Leader

Eight Qualities Essential to Who You Are

Character is of utmost importance in leadership. Without it, everything we lead will rest on a foundation that cannot endure. Getting this right early in our leadership journey is essential. Ruth Barton once said, “We set young leaders up for a fall if we encourage them to envision what they can do before they consider the kind of person they should be.” Character is a non-negotiable. 

In this edition of Make It Count, we focus on the character of a leader by exploring eight essential character qualities. The truth is, these eight qualities are important regardless of whether you’re a leader. But leadership is influence; therefore, a failure to embrace these character qualities will always create more collateral damage for leaders. 

The primary way spiritual leaders exert influence is through the weight of their character (not the weight of their position).

This is not a comprehensive list. There are dozens (perhaps hundreds) of other character qualities we should cultivate, but these eight have a significant effect on the life of a leader and those he or she leads. These are the eight character qualities we’ll study:

  • Integrity
  • Humility
  • Self-discipline
  • Faithfulness
  • Selflessness
  • Peace
  • Love
  • Courage

Cultivating these qualities will not only make you a better person, but they’ll add weight to your influence as a leader. After all, the primary way spiritual leaders exert influence is through the weight of their character (not the weight of their position).

As you read and discuss each lesson, allow the Holy Spirit to form in you the character necessary to sustain the weight of the leadership responsibility you carry.

This eight-week study, which appears in the July/August issue of Influence magazine, is now available online as a free download. Church leaders can print multiple complimentary copies of this resource and use it to promote development, spark discussion and inspire vision among team members.

The online resource also includes a fill-in-the-blank guide for team members to use as they follow along with the studies.

Adapted from the July/August 2018 edition of Influence magazine.


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