Leaders come in all types of shades and hues, and exist in every sphere of life. However, all great leaders possess certain fibers vital to their championship. Some of these can be seen by the naked eye, others require a more microscopic look. These very fibers determine if a leader will be poor, average, good, or great.
(1) Great leaders set the example. They project no expectation without example. They model what should be, can be, and will be (1Pet 5:3). They themselves are the firstfruits of the harvest they are cultivating in their followers.
(2) Great leaders navigate problems gracefully. Because they are not afraid of problems and complexities, they possess an emotional equilibrium to navigate such with much-needed composure (2Ti 4:5). Because of diligently accumulated wisdom, they possess an intellectual finesse to know often what to do and how do it (Ecc 8:5 NIV).
(3) Great leaders attend to major problems, bypass minor ones, and stay focused on the ultimate goal in the midst of it all. They embrace problem-solving as an inescapable part of the journey, but not as the ultimate goal. They realize different problems demand different degrees of attention, all the while staying focused on the ultimate goal. Great leaders defy problems by using them as an opportunity and stimulus, again, towards the ultimate goal.
(4) Great leaders are sturdy decision-makers. They thrive on opportunities to shape a situation or environment. Consequently, they do not fear "pushing the button" or "jumping off" to bridge the ideal and the real.
(5) Great leaders reproduce themselves. Moses produced Joshua. Naomi produced Ruth. Elijah produced Elisha. Jesus produced Twelve. Peter produced John Mark. Great leaders think multiplicationally, knowing they are only a firstfruits of a more significant harvest.
(6) Great leaders are experts in their fields. Read Proverbs 24:3-5. They never stop informing themselves through reading and studying. Whoever has the answer holds the scepter.
(7) Great leaders truly care for their followers. Read Proverbs 27:23-27. Great leaders are not bullies, dictators, or hot-shots. They are shepherds, in any field. Great ones genuinely care for the needs and burdens of their followers.
(8) Great leaders humbly acknowledge major mistakes. They show humanity and humility when truly appropriate. People are not looking for Superman, only competence. That is a fair request.
(9) Great leaders are team players. They divide and delegate responsibility according to the ability and preparedness of each team member. They think in terms of multiplicative results that only a team effort can yield.
(10) Great leaders balance professionalism with relationship. Relationship has been and always will be the greatest leverage of a leader. A great leader emanates vocational professionalism while simultaneously emanating a warm and loving climate that encourages interest and productivity.
(11) Great leaders focus on their signature talents and gifts. They do not waste time trying to be everything. Rather, they channel their energy and initiatives toward their God-given signature strengths, producing profound fulfillment and fruitfulness.
(12) Great leaders guide their followers into their signature strengths. Similarly, they employ and energize their followers' signature strengths. This produces profound fulfillment and fruitfulness in them as well. The entire operation prospers when leader and follower are faithful to their divine design. Read Colossians 2:10 and 1Peter 4:10.
(13) Great leaders remain in promising environments. They know when a person, group, or environment is unfertile, unyielding, and unwilling. They do not labor in vain because they know environment is just as critical to success as effort.
(14) Great leaders inspire, not domineer. The greatest people-motivators are relationship, proof (example), and joy. Coercion yields superficial and temporary complicity; relationship, proof, and joy inspire faithful partnership.
(15) Great leaders flex their authority only when absolutely necessary. A leader who is constantly flexing is vain and insecure. The most composed and patient leaders often possess the loudest roar. Great leaders don't waste their roars. Read 2Corinthians 13:10.
(16) Great leaders communicate their agenda clearly and honestly. They are not chatter-boxes, nor do they indiscriminately release sensitive information, but they do communicate their agenda clearly and honestly as much as possible. Great leaders are trustable, they do not see their followers as trickable.
(17) Great leaders prioritize their initiatives. They converge efforts on what is most important, and move down the triage list from there. As seasons change, priorities change, and so does the triage of initiatives.
(18) Great leaders exert excellence and quality in every dimension, even in the little things. They do not do mediocre or "okay" jobs. Great leaders constantly do "a great job", giving attention to even the smallest details that average and poor leaders do not have the patience for. The diligent will always rule, the lazy will always be in want, Proverbs 12:24 says.
(19) Great leaders expose themselves to high-grade counsel and information. Read Proverbs 24:3-6. Not all counsel is equal. Great leaders expose themselves to a wide array of perspectives, while filtering out that which is low-grade and medium-grade, prioritizing that which is highest grade and most promising.
(20) Great leaders are marathoners, not sprinters. They pace themselves. They venerate the process. They understand little-by-little. Marvelous and meaningful results rarely happen overnight. The patience and diligence of a great leader progresses them to the highest high place after many/most leaders have given up or given out. Read Exodus 23:30.
(21) Great leaders hold the vision tightly, but the plans and methods loosely. Vision (the ultimate goal) is constant, but plans and methods change with different situations and variables. Great leaders adjust and adapt accordingly, all while holding the vision tight.
(22) Great leaders maintain balanced lives as complete individuals. They are not obsessed with their leadership to fix a broken emotion or self-esteem nags. They have wholesome relationships, personal hobbies, healthy physical habits, and most importantly, they commune with precious Jesus daily. Read Ecclesiastes 3:12,13.
(23) Great leaders depend daily on intimacy with the Holy Spirit for endless motivation and energy. Colossians 1:29 says it all. Candles that burn wick only burn out; candles that burn wick connected to oil seem to burn forever. Great leaders burn Oil.
(24) Great leaders give the Lord Jesus Christ all the glory in word or attitude. They know that "from Him, through Him, and to Him are all things" (Ro 11:36). Their daily demeanor shows where their truest Glory lies. People know it too.