Multiple men and women have had a significant influence on my life. These special people are uniquely different. The broad spectrum of life lessons I have gained under their teaching has shaped my approach to marriage, parenting, finances, ministry, and everything in between.
A similarity that each of my mentors share, is the title - Leader.
Throughout God’s Word, encouragement and guidance is given to men and women. Proverbs 11:14 says, “Where there is no guidance the people fall, but in abundance of counselors there is victory.” Within the faith, we value and strive toward being effective leaders.
The world also values and attempts to cultivate effective leadership. Every year, thousands of dollars are spent on resources designed to cultivate leaders. For instance, try searching Amazon.com for books with “leadership” in the title and you will find over 100,000 options to choose from. That’s just books!
It’s not lost on me that such a large amount of information is available at our fingertips. I enjoy diving head first into resources like these. However, I’m a visual learner. All too often, after reading about a technique designed and proven to build ones’ leadership skills, I want to see it in action. For me, witnessing effective leadership firsthand is inspiring. The character of a leader is equal to and at times, more influential than the words they say.
I’m sure there are faces you are imagining right now of leaders that have made a lasting impact on your life. A closer inspection of their life helps us answer the question, “What does effective leadership look like?” The lives of my role models are the inspiration for the list below.
Three Traits of Effective Leadership
The leaders that have influenced my life will be the first to admit their own inadequacies, flaws, and weaknesses. Their effort to lead has always trumped their expertise on any given subject.
My mentors have been steadfast in their commitment to being consistent. Their commitment to consistency produced a reliability that I could depend on.
My role models continue to show genuine love and kindness toward me. Their compassion is not rooted in obligation. Rather, they have made me a priority in their life. They care more about the needs of others and seek ways to meet those needs.
Of course, much more can be said regarding the characteristics of leadership. What I’ve learned from these men and women is that effective leaders exemplify humility, commitment, and compassion. They do not merely talk about it – They live it.
Let me encourage you to evaluate your current level of humility and identify what you are committed to. Developing these two habits builds character that makes your leadership effective. More importantly, an investment in these habits often leads to a desire to meet the needs others.
Mission Reports, observations, and encouragement from your favorite Student Ministry Team.