Friday, October 17, 2008

7 Leadership Labels

I wanted to pass along my latest column from "River Region's Journey" magazine. It's so important that men and women of character are elected to public office, and that the leadership characteristics that are consistent with Scripture are demonstrated by God's people. So here are some thoughts that I submitted to Journey.

The 2008 elections will be here practically before we realize it, and it is definitely time to be praying for the choices that we will make. As I’ve said on my radio program, The Meeting House, on Faith Radio, it’s important that we exercise our right to vote and make prayerful and informed choices.

I have crafted a list of 7 characteristics – “leadership labels”, if you will, that can be qualities that each of us would want to emulate and that we can look for in the leaders we choose.


One’s character is the essence of his or her personality. I’ve heard it said that character is who a person is when there is nobody watching. I think that a person of good character is someone who can be trusted, who takes life seriously and soberly, and has a keen sense of his or her life’s purpose. I believe that one of the key elements of character is one’s…

Core Beliefs.

When examining candidates for public office, I think it’s critical that, whenever possible, we determine what drives a person – not merely what someone will say in order to get elected, but what activities in which he or she has participated, and with whom or what the person has associated. If one’s motivation can be discerned, then it can go a long way in determining how someone will behave when assuming the mantle of public trust. How willing is someone to govern based on those core beliefs? Do those beliefs become…


Convictions are solidly held principles that provide a strong foundation for how a person behaves. Unfortunately, some politicians say that they hold a certain set of beliefs, yet do not believe they should impose those beliefs on others. If one holds to his or her convictions, then that person will do the right thing, regardless of the political fallout. I believe respect can be gained if someone is willing to make policy decisions that reflect deeply-held convictions. I believe that faith has a key role in the development of public policy, and an important question for people of faith who aspire to high office is: how does your personal faith influence the decisions you make? And a person who has convictions will allow themselves to be governed by…


A conscience is grounded in a sense of right and wrong – a moral compass that helps one to make good decisions, even in the heat of the moment. A good leader, I believe, has an intuitive sense of how to act when leadership is needed or desired. And, if someone is dedicated to following one’s conscience, then it will be reflected in his or her…


Words have meaning. A person of ideas is well-served if those ideas can be communicated in a clear, concise, and sincere manner. People who share candidly, from the heart, can make a distinct impression and use their influence for the good of others. Jesus was such a communicator – He understood the power of ideas, was able to relate to people on their level, and used words to paint effective pictures of the truth He desired for people to embrace. A person with good communication skills alone is not necessarily a good leader, but a person who backs his speech up with quality, consistent action is someone to whom we should pay attention. And we can be drawn by…


The ability to speak and act creatively helps someone stand out from the crowd - Not flashy, but fresh…not mundane, but motivational. If one is content with the status quo, then complacency can set in. But, if one is constantly evaluating, looking for ways to improve, some creative energy can be generated that can bring about the desired results. And, at all time, the good leader keeps in mind that it’s not all about him or her, but the focus should be…

Centered on Others.

Jesus came to earth, becoming one of us so that we might be saved. He said in Mark that He did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many. Does a politician, someone aspiring to hold public office, recognize the calling he or she has to be a servant-leader? A quality leader is not looking to rule, but to serve…not to dictate, but to illustrate what it means to help other people.

Of course, issues are very important, and in examining potential leaders, I encourage you to evaluate the positions on a variety of issues, consistent with a Biblical worldview perspective. I believe that we are a country that has a tremendous leadership void, and that statesmen – quality leaders - are required in the future to address the significant challenges of our public entities.

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