What do great leaders possess that sets them and their organizations apart? How can you make these traits a part of your life, family and lead team?
Here are 8 Capacities of Great Leaders…
1) High Capacity for Vision. Great leaders “see first and see farther.” (John Maxwell) This doesn’t just “happen.” It’s the result of purposed listening, learning and processing from others while asking, seeking and knocking in prayer. In these ways they see what others can’t… or won’t. Keep looking!
2) High Capacity for Tenacity. They are the “pitbulls” of their organization when it comes to the people, the vision and values that shape it. Other words for this are perseverance, patience, and my favorite “King James Version” description… looooongsuffering. Whatever it takes they hold on and hold out when they know they are headed in the right direction.
3) High Capacity for Learning. Great leaders are lifetime learners. They read, listen, watch, podcast, blog and more in order to stay sharp and current. They are humble enough to ask the tough questions, even when it reveals their own ignorance on a given subject. They soak it in to the point that it’s part of their DNA… and then pass it on in simple but creative ways.
4) High Capacity for Communication. They get it… people are busy and need to be reminded more than once. So, they put the important messages out there through multiple platforms multiple times. They partner with those skilled and experienced in social media, harnessing their creativity and celebrating with them as the word gets out. Communication is a constant, a lifestyle.
4) High Capacity for Gratitude. Great leaders don’t forget the grace of God and others. They don’t forget where they have come from. They don’t tolerate entitlement and are intentional about thanking others and creating a culture of gratitude by modeling it daily.
5) High Capacity for Teamwork. Great leaders are great gatherers. They not only recruit both volunteer and paid individuals with high capacities in their chosen field, they recognize potential yet untapped and invest in them with a passion. Think Jesus and His less than learned disciples. (For you LOTR fans… think the “Fellowship of the Ring!”)
6) High Capacity for Feeling. Great leaders understand the felt needs of their teams and take the emotional pulse of their organization often. They have little tolerance for “needy” in themselves or others while creating safe environments and experiences for people to share their hearts. They can sense when morale is getting low or momentum is shifting in the wrong direction and they take action to call it out and turn it around.
7) High Capacity for Compassion. Great leaders are great lovers of people. The love of Jesus compels them with a constant awareness that, apart from His grace, they themselves are unloveable. This drives them to meet people as Jesus did (and still does!), at the point, place and time of their deepest need.
8) High Capacity for Adventure. Great leaders aren’t afraid to step out into the great unknown! Another word for this is faith. What is faith? “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” (Hebrews 11:1, NIV) They see the vast unknown as an even greater opportunity for advancing the vision of their organization. They cast a clear vision, gather a ready team, plan, pack and then launch out into it with great expectations!
What capacities of great leaders have you observed? How can these be purposed in ministries and organizations? Share your insights in the Reply section below!