Leadership is an art. There’s science behind good management, but leadership is more nuanced. It’s about who you are as a person and whether or not you have some of the core qualities of leaders. Whether you’re leading a company, a church or mentoring, these seven quotes demonstrate characteristics that a great leader will have.
- “The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.”—William Arthur Ward. Leadership is all about inspiration. The ability to inspire others is a sign of a true leader. A manager tells people what to do. They explain and demonstrate if they’re a good manager. But the ability to move from that place of giving orders to inspiring results is how a leader operates.
- “Average leaders inspire people to punch a time clock. Great leaders inspire industry and passion.”— Joseph B. Wirthlin. Speaking of inspiration, great leaders not only inspire others to follow them, they also inspire their people to rise up and create new things. Managing dictates what needs to happen. It makes sure the things that need to happen actually happen. But leadership goes a step further. It fosters innovation. It brings out not only the best in people, but their best ideas as well. Be sure to give space to the people you lead and you might be surprised at the passion they have. And you’ll be thankful when that passion turns into something that makes your venture thrive in a new way.
- “No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself or get all the credit for doing it.”—Andrew Carnegie. A great leader knows that it’s not about them. Instead, the chief gift of leadership is being able to inspire others to rise up to the challenge. Leadership is placing people in areas where they’ll excel and allowing them to figure it out themselves (with a bit of coaching). It’s having the humility to allow others to shine in the spotlight. A great leader doesn’t need recognition, because they are confident.
- “Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant.”—Mark 10:43. Every great leader must know how to walk in humility. A humble leader will stand strong where prideful leaders fall. Understanding what it’s like to follow is important for everyone who leads others. You’ll know how to better lead and how to manage the expectations of those following you. Remember as the Bible teaches us, pride comes before a fall! So make sure that you’re just as good of a follower as you are a leader.
- “Leaders don’t create more followers, they create more leaders.”–Tom Peters. A core quality of true leadership is replication. It’s not the ability purely to inspire someone into following you. It’s also about what you do once you find yourself leading a person or several persons. A true leader will elevate their followers into greater positions, not keep them where they’re at. You want your followers to in turn have followers of their own.
- “Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers, who can cut through argument, debate, and doubt to offer a solution everybody can understand.”—Colin Powe. Another core quality of leadership is vision and clarity. Being able to see the vision through all of the clutter of problems and minor victories is something that a group relies on the leader for. Without that vision, and more importantly bringing clarity to that vision for your followers, your group will disintegrate. The vision will get lost in the chaos of normal life and your people will start to wonder why they’re a part of things.
- “Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.”—Steve Jobs. Integrity is key to leadership. So many managers and corporations and churches are just happy to get by. As long as things are getting done, then we’re good. But when you change that dynamic, not only do people take pride in their work and start to thrive, but your venture will thrive too! Show the person you mentor how serious personal prayer times are by living that out in your own life. Show your employees going above and beyond is normal by doing just that. When they see you treat excellence as something to daily work for, they’ll be inspired to seek it out in their own lives as well.
I hope this has helped you. Thanks for taking the time to read!
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