Leadership is about inspiring and empowering people to become who they were created to be. It is about relating and connecting in such a way that the world is impacted and changed for good. Although there will always be opinions about the characteristics of effective leadership, there are specific characteristics that people want from you as their leader.
A recent Gallup survey of 10,000 followers, revealed that people want trust, compassion, stability, and hope from their leaders. People want and need leaders who will help navigate the challenges of today’s world. Below are resources to assist you in meeting those challenges as a Christ-centered leader. These resources will assist you in becoming the leader God has created you to be.
There is a brief statement of each characteristic and then resources to take you deeper. Please know of my prayers for you and for your church as you continue to lead in these difficult days.
People want leaders who they can trust. In that Gallup survey, what surfaced as the top characteristics people need from their leaders are honesty, integrity, and respect. These words describe the outcomes of strong relationships built on trust.
People look for role models whose behavior they feel is worth emulating. Whether it be coaches, professors, co-workers, bosses, or pastors, people look for leaders who can be trusted to lead through ordinary situations as well as times of learning, adventure, and uncertainty. People want leaders who take them seriously and who can adapt when everything is not ideal.
As a leader, you earn trust when you follow through on commitments. Then as trust grows, people feel more at ease with you with bigger commitments in other areas of leadership. As you live out your trustworthiness, people learn that they can rely upon you.
In the Gallup survey, words like caring, friendship, happiness, and love are used to describe what people need and want from their leaders. In a word, people are looking for leaders with compassion. They are looking for leaders, whether spiritual, political, corporate, or educational, to listen to them, affirm their worth, and love them.
To lead with compassion means contributing to the happiness and well-being of the people entrusted to your care. It is more than “being nice.” It is an intentional action to nurture people to their full potential. As the leader, you develop authentic relationships for the purpose of helping people become who they were created to be.
Explore More About Compassion here:
We are living in a time of enormous change. Daily we experience the anxiety of the ground moving under our feet. When the foundation upon which we have been living begins to shift, our anxiety levels intensify.
When you are driven by anxiety, you see the world differently. You begin to make your decisions based upon the fear of scarcity and to focus on problems and shortages rather than possibilities and abundance. As a leader, it is during such anxiety you need the courage to stay focused and to lead the people entrusted to your care.
During times like this, one of the qualities people want in a leader is stability. According to the Gallup survey, words like strength, support, and peace are used to describe what people need and want from their leaders. The survey reveals that people are looking for leaders who provide stability.
It is during times of uncertainty, that people want and need leaders of stable influence to navigate the unknowns of changing culture, communities, and churches. Whether you believe it or not, your leadership makes the world a better place.
Explore More about Stability:
As our world changes, our churches struggle, and we face uncertainty and fear, people are looking for leaders who can make a positive impact upon their lives and in the community. They are looking for inspiration that speaks to their needs. They want and need a leader who instills hope for the future.
What has surfaced in the Gallup survey, is people want and need direction, faith, and guidance from their leaders. These words describe the outcomes of hope.
At this point and time in history, people are tired of false promises, disillusioned with artificial relationships, and disheartened with the sensationalism of political positions and conflicting opinions. They are looking for authenticity and integrity. In a word, they want and need hope. And they are looking to you, as their leader, to provide it.
Explore more about Hope:
To learn even more about becoming the Christ-centered leader needed to navigate the challenges people are facing today, we’re exploring hope throughout 2022. The Blog and Podcast page for our most recent resources.
Just one more thing before you go. The four characteristics of trust, compassion, stability, and hope are fundamental to developing and maintaining healthy relationships. Relationships are necessary if you as a leader are going to have influence in the places you live, work, and play.
Take time to listen to the LeaderCast episodes and read the blogs listed above. You can only improve your leadership skills as you learn to adapt to the changing landscape and lead through challenging times.
As you explore these resources, keep in mind the relational skills that grow from these characteristics. As you listen and reflect upon the resources above, here are five things to keep in mind.
- Listen Carefully – Give your full attention and reflect thoughtfully. Use empathy to connect more authentically with others.
- Ask Questions – Model the behavior of being curious and encourage others to do the same.
- Stay True to Your Values – Model integrity and authenticity.
- Communicate Clearly – Remember that clear is kind. Be clear in your statements and be aware of how you are perceived in what you say and do.
- Be Generous – Provide useful and genuine feedback to those entrusted to your care. Give them the benefit of your best thoughts and responses and be open to receiving feedback.
Leadership is about inspiring and empowering people to become who they were created to be. It is my hope that you can and will begin to build a file of resources that assists you in becoming the leader that makes a difference.
Remember, who you are is how you lead.
Note: Explore the podcast and blog for more resources to guide you on your leadership journey.