One of my favorite authors, John Maxwell, often says, “Everything rises and falls on leadership.” This is why it’s critical for strong leaders to have a vision for success, while possessing the skills necessary to articulate and implement that vision. Today, I want to share with you three characteristics I have found essential in strong leaders.
- Strong Leaders are hands on. They have learned how to be actively engaged in the process without micro managing their team. Strong leaders know how to hold their teams accountable by setting clear expectations and measurable goals. The Bible says it this way in Proverbs 27:17, “Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” In other words, strong leaders hold their teams accountable for their actions and attitude to make them much more productive. Yes, an essential characteristic of strong leadership is to hold your team members accountable by being hands on.
- Strong Leaders assemble a winning team. Having a goal and gathering together a winning team to bring your concept to fruition is critical to being successful as a leader. Whenever I am tasked to assemble a winning team, I am always looking for three basic things: people who I can trust, people who are hard workers, people who are competent. The Bible said it best in Proverbs 22:29, “Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will stand before kings; He will not stand before obscure men.” When assembling a winning team, you’re not looking for buddies. You are looking for trustworthy people who are capable enough to get the job done. The ability to assemble a winning team is an essential characteristic of strong leadership.
- Strong Leaders know when to delegate responsibilities. Learning to trust your team with the vision God has given you is one of the most important skills you can develop as a strong leader. You are a limited resource. You have a limited amount of time and energy. Delegating responsibilities to others will keep you from being overwhelmed and spread too thin. Moses’ father-in-law, Jethro, gave him the following advice in Exodus 18:21-22, “But select capable men from all the people – men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain, and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. (22)have them serve as judges for the people at all times, but have them bring every difficult case to you; the simple cases they can decide themselves. That will make your load lighter, because they will share it with you.” Moses desperately needed to delegate the things others could do, so he would have the time and energy to focus on the things that only he could do. Delegation prevents burnout and is a sign of strong leadership.
“Everything rises and falls on leadership.” The characteristics of strong leadership include being hands on, assembling a winning team, and knowing when to delegate responsibilities. I want to leave the strong leaders with this final piece of advice found in Philippians 2:4, “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interest of others.”