Have courage. Refuse to back down when taking a stand is necessary. Refuse to keep quiet when speaking up is necessary. Refuse to look in the other direction when speaking up is necessary. Face your fears and go on in spite of them. Never compromise your convictions. Be willing to be confront people lovingly when necessary; know that doing so can bring about great change for the better in their lives. Resolve conflicts. Forgive others and seek to be a peacemaker.


Have strong character. Understand that character forms the basis for influence. People will pay attention to your message if they see that you live with integrity. Focus on character above image, education, money, popularity, or position. Ask God to give you the grace you need to make right choices in all situations. Realize that humility is necessary for God's favor. Seek to reflect more of Christ's likeness in your life, rather than just your own. Recognize your weaknesses and seek strength by relying on God's power. Pay attention to life's details, such as returning phone calls and writing thank you notes. Know that if you're great in little things, you will build your credibility with others. Be loyal to Christ and to people with whom you have important relationships, such as your spouse, children, and close friends. Show people that they can rely on you. Work diligently at all your tasks, giving everything you undertake your best effort.


Prioritize relationships. Understand that, through relationships, you can change the world - one person at a time. Make your relationship with Christ your top priority, and after that, your family. Build close friendships. Work to make keep your marriage growing stronger every day. Live to serve. Don't have ulterior motives for building relationships with people; make sure you're doing so only because you want to share God's love with them.

Adapted from Leading with Billy Graham: The Leadership Principles and Life of T.W. Wilson, copyright 2005 by Jay Dennis. Published by Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group, Grand Rapids, Mich., www.bakerbooks.com.   


Jay Dennis (D. Min., Fuller Theological Seminary) is pastor of the 5,000-member congregation of First Baptist Church in Lakeland, Florida. A popular conference and seminary speaker, Dennis has coauthored three books: The Prayer Experiment, The Prayer Experiment Lab Manual, and Taming Your Private Thoughts. He also hosts a weekly television show and daily radio program. He and his wife, Angie, have two children.