Do you know how to describe a good leader? What about the best leader you ever followed? Among the many descriptions of great leadership I’ve heard, Truett Cathy, Chick-fil-A founder, once said that “we must motivate ourselves to do our very best, and by our example, lead others to do their best as well.”
1. A leader listens.
Good leadership requires great listening skills, even in families. Too often people associate leadership with someone who is in charge, barking out orders. But long before he or she makes a decision, a good leader listens to various perspectives and ideas. Listening well is also key to the good communication and trust that builds up relationships over time.
2. A leader has vision.
The Bible says that where there is no vision, the people perish. Good leaders are visionaries who learn from the past, understand the present, and survey the future to craft a vision of where to go and what to do. Parenting is a great example of the need for casting vision—in our kids’ hearts. A clear vision inspires others by making a goal seem important, valuable, and attainable.
3. A leader adapts.
In the pursuit of a vision, the unexpected always occurs. If the only constant in life is change, then it’s important for leaders to expect the unexpected. In marriage, a couple that learns to embrace change and roll with the punches can really embrace the realities of life, build trust, and live out their story together. For parents, expecting the unexpected and adapting to it is critical to helping your child feel safe and unconditionally loved.
If the only constant in life is change, then it’s important for leaders to expect the unexpected.
4. A leader delegates.
For people who struggle with control, sometimes our default position is just to do everything ourselves. But I’ve learned through the years that I need to train and trust others to do what maybe I could do but probably should let someone else do. A team accomplishes much more when the leader doesn’t bear the weight of doing it all alone.
5. A leader serves.
Jesus told his closest followers that if they wanted to be considered great by God and others, they first needed to learn to be servants to everyone. This is the most important characteristic of leadership. When leaders seek to serve others instead of being served, their abilities to listen, cast vision, adapt, and delegate are elevated. Why? Because the people around the leader know they are cared for, important, and have inherent dignity. When leaders serve others, the others are grateful and also serve out of love, not just obedience or fear. Isn’t that what we want in our families, too?
Tell us how to describe a good leader. Share in a comment below.