Character Of A Great Leader

Day 1 of 7 • This day’s reading

“The Leadership Problem”

Would you agree that a person could be very knowledgeable yet very unchanged by that knowledge? All of us, for that matter, know certain things that ought to be done but fail to do them, don’t we?

We know what food is good for us, yet we choose to ignore that knowledge. We know overspending is bad and will lead to serious consequences, yet we overextend ourselves financially. We know that in order to become “great” we need to humble ourselves and serve, yet too often we use our position and power to lord it over others and to manipulate them in order to satisfy our egos.

Knowledge is actually useless…unless we make a conscious decision to apply it. In Philippians 4:9 we are told: “What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me – practice these things…”

There are over 20,000 leadership development resources available, yet despite the growing magnitude, they have failed to produce good leaders. According to the latest research by Barna Group, 90% of Americans believe the nation is facing a crisis of leadership, 61% say they work for a bad boss and 33% say that poor leadership at work is the most stressful part of their workday. So what’s the problem?

You see most leadership development focus on management techniques, building competencies, skills and tactics, but they fail to focus on the most important part of leadership—the leader and his or her character, integrity and emotional intelligence.

Sadly, there is a perception among those in positional leadership that focusing on the character of a leader rather than skills and tactics is “soft” and not practical enough; hence most leaders continue to bypass it. The results are clear: continued struggles, dissatisfied employees, frustrated leaders and chaotic and poor-performing teams and organizations.

In reality, every tactical problem, even though on the surface it seems to need a tactical answer, is ultimately rooted in and can be traced to weak character, leading out of fear, leading out of pride, not being able to distinguish right from wrong, having misplaced business priorities or having misplaced life priorities. Only when we stay close to God’s word and practice it on daily basis, we’ll have a positive, lasting impact on those around us. So let’s be doers of the word and not hearers only, as James 1:22 admonishes us.