Leadership that Encourages

What makes a person a leader?

This is the point where I would hear things like, “good role model, smart, think outside the box, knows how to get things done, etc. etc. etc.”

But here’s the answer. A person is a leader when there are people following him/her. That’s it. You cannot lead if there are no followers. So the question now becomes, what is important when leading? In other words, what makes a “good leader?”

In my experience, a good leader is someone who can build others up. Someone who encourages people to become and do more than they thought possible. Yes, a leader helps direct; but more importantly, the good leader makes sure the people know the direction forward and are confident in this plan.

People will, really, only follow when they believe in what is happening. There are times it seems like people are like sheep and blindly following, but the truth is the people would not be following if they did to find any meaning.

This is why it is vital for the leader to know what will help people become who they were meant to be. Good and true leadership begins with a clear understanding of what it means to follow God. Good leaders understand all their giftings and intellect and wisdom are from the One who created them. It is not something we have given ourselves.

Therefore, we give praise and glory to the One who created us. Good leaders follow and model their lives after the ultimate expression of God, Jesus Christ. Modeling life and leadership after Jesus will show us how to be compassionate when tired, how to look after the needs of others, leading people to a place of life change.

For leaders to model their lives after Jesus Christ, they also should be spending time getting to know who Jesus is, what Jesus is like, and what Jesus calls his people to do with their lives. Leaders set the example for expectations and ways of living. Leaders are always learning and allowing the person and presence of Jesus to change and transform their own lives.

Modeling our lives after Jesus Christ, who we’re being made into likeness of anyway, means leaders look beyond their current situation and see the possibilities that lay ahead of them. Leaders keep the best interests and wellbeing of their followers in mind.

Good leaders know how to encourage and how to help people live into the gifts and talents God has given them. They will surround themselves with a team of diverse gifts and strengths to make sure they are all working together in a complementary way, for the betterment of everyone.

There is so much more to say about what makes a good leader. I would love to hear your thoughts.

To sum all of this up, I see good leaders as those who seek and follow Jesus Christ, work for things beyond themselves, and seek to encourage the followers to be who they were created to be and live out their giftings God has given them.

Published by Ryan Stratton

Ryan Stratton is a pastor in the Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. He serves with his wife, Amanda, along with their children. He writes about life, faith, and leadership through his blog.

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