With all the modern resources at our fingertips, we still suffer from leadership deficiency – in our nation, workplaces, churches and homes. We have too many leaders who believe their position mandates their influence, rather than their influence enabling them to be effective in their position. Many of today’s leaders lead by forced coercion - a “my way or the highway” mindset that makes them more like dictators. President Theodore Roosevelt once said, “The leader leads, and the boss drives.” The Boss often plays the Boss Card. They force obedience, strictly because of their position and status. But, as author and expert John Maxwell says, “Leadership is not about titles, positions or flowcharts. It’s about one life influencing another.”
As you are reading this, odds are you are picturing someone you know in a leadership position that drives more than they lead. I know I am picturing someone as I write. I also have to quickly examine my own life. God has placed all of us in a position of leadership, if not in our workplaces or churches, then certainly in our homes as parents. I know there have been times when I don’t exemplify the qualities of a Godly leader.
I don’t want to knock all of the great books out there on leadership. There are some terrific resources available from people who know far more about the topic than many of us do. But, there’s one resource that has a lot to say on the topic of effective leadership, and it’s available for free. You can actually access it right on your phone. It’s the Bible, and the passage is Proverbs 16. Go ahead and read it. I’ll wait.
This chapter is chock full of leadership lessons. Below are nine principles that are critical characteristics of a good, godly leader: