Leadership Secrets…………….

Lead to Live…..

Developing Leadership Character


By Jeff Haygood

 
Philippians 2: 17 Yes, and if I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. 18 For the same reason you also be glad and rejoice with me. 19 But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you shortly, that I also may be encouraged when I know your state.20 For I have no one like-minded, who will sincerely care for your state. 21For all seek their own, not the things which are of Christ Jesus. 22 But you know his proven character, that as a son with his father he served with me in the gospel.
 
When we think of leadership, our first thought is the finished product. We think of a well-rounded, effective, productive, mature individual. What does not always populate our thoughts is how one becomes a leader. The process is often lengthy, arduous, tenuous and exhausting. The making of a leader bears little resemblance to the leader that is made. A leader is much like an iceberg, nine tenths of the substance of the structure lies hidden beneath the surface. The substance of a leader is their character. It is not the tenth we see in public presentation that makes one an effective leader, it is the nine tenths that we rarely witness that empowers a leader to lead.
 
While we often concentrate on leadership performance, or the mere mechanics of leadership, leadership perfecting, or the manufacturing of the leader is far more important. Today we will examine the manufacturing process that builds a leader. What parts go into making a leader? What is the process of putting those parts together to produce a well-oiled leadership machine?
 
Character can be defined as moral or ethical quality; qualities such as honesty, courage, integrity and the like. Character also refers to moral qualities, ethical standards, and principles.    It has been said that our character is who we are when no one is looking. Reputation is what others think of us, character is what or who we really are.     
 
Leaders with character achieve results that transcend everyday organizational imperatives and outcomes. However, we often take the character of leadership for granted. We expect good leaders to be strong in character, that is, to have a moral imperative underwrite their actions. These leaders with character have been identified as authentic leaders: They are what they believe in; show consistency between their values, ethical reasoning and actions; develop positive psychological states such as confidence, optimism, hope, and resilience in themselves and their charges; and are widely known and respected for their integrity.
 
David and Saul are a case study in leadership development contrast. Saul was chosen to lead and thrust into position without development. David was an overlooked, rejected child of a father who sent him to do the work of a servant. You will recall that when the sons of Jesse were summoned to appear before the prophet Samuel he was not among the sons. Samuel had to ask if Jesse had more sons. He indeed had another son, though he was among the servants doing the work of a shepherd. David developed leadership character while serving a leader who had no character. 
 
A wise man said ’the greatest battle does not take place on the land, or on the sea, or in the air, it takes place in the mind.’ To develop a godly character, we must first furnish our minds with God’s Word on the subject. The psalmist says in Psalm 119:9 – ‘How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to your Word.’ He also says, ‘Thy Word have I hid in my heart that I may not sin against you’. So, the Word of God is the primary ingredient for building a godly character. One must develop mental toughness and spiritual discipline to lead effectively.
 
Speaking of discipline, the process of making disciples is primarily an exercise in character development. Character development is the assurance that we are not simply producing people who lead, but more importantly producing quality leaders.
 
In the manufacturing process it has been established that the quality of the product is a composite of the quality of the parts used in the process. What goes into the creation of a leader with excellent character? What are the experiences, the ingredients, the conditions that create leadership character? 
 
What is the process of testing that is required to determine we have developed the character required to lead successfully? How long does it take? How bad will it hurt?  
 
The bible lays out certain character traits that are required for those who lead. Paul in particular, specifically list behaviors and virtues that are prerequisites for leadership function.
 
I Timothy 3: 1 This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop (overseer), he desires a good work. 2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach; 3 not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous; 4 one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence 5 (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?); 6 not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil. Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. 
 
You will also notice that we are given insight into potential downfalls if an individual is exalted to a position of leadership prematurely or ill advisedly. The scripture comprehensively covers the entire spectrum of the leader’s life. There are seventeen specific characteristics listed for qualification for leadership oversight. You will note, only one of the characteristics specifically translate into a ministry performance function (able to teach).
 
1.     Blameless
2.     Monogamous
3.     Temperate 
4.     Sober-minded
5.     Good behavior
6.     Hospitable
7.     Able to teach
8.     Not given to wine
9.     Not violent
10.  Not Greedy for money
11.  Gentle
12.  Not quarrelsome
13.  Not covetous
14.  One who rules his own house well
15.  Good parent
16.  Not a novice
17.  Good testimony amongst the unsaved
 
Taking the words of Paul into consideration, let’s develop a leader. We will not invest much time or energy in charisma, talent or gifting. We will build a leader from the inside out. We will build the nine tenths invisible substance beneath the surface before addressing any functional performance-based characteristics.

Let’s begin our leadership project with a Cause. A primary key to development is the recognition there is something bigger than you, or greater than you. The cause becomes the catalyst for the sacrifice every leader must make to get in position to produce results. David had Goliath, Martin Luther King had the Montgomery Bus Boycott, Nelson Mandela had Apartheid, Mahatma Ghandi had Oppressive Colonizers. Leadership often has a something before it has a someone.
 
 
Once we have found a cause, we have to add Compassion. A leader must have a compelling motivation to accomplish a goal, to make a difference, to meet a need, to serve a purpose. It is compassion that attaches our heart; compassion engages our emotions and compels us in the direction of what we set out to do. Compassion is the divine flow. Jesus was frequently moved with compassion and healed people. When we are moved with compassion we help people. We often state that God moved. God is moved, or God moves for those who have compassion.   
 
One of the most vital of the leadership characteristics is Courage. A person can have skill, talent, ability and opportunity, but without courage none of those attributes will produce consistent or lasting results. Courage is necessary because conflict is inevitable. Difficult decisions and tough choices are germane to the role of a leader. One must have courage to make the call or stand up when called upon. Courage is not the absence of fear, it is a willingness or constitution to face what we fear. – – 
 
conflict resolution – both internal and external conflict will arise in the life of every leader. The internal conflict has to do with an individual’s propensity to address personal life matters that affect the ability to lead effectively and achieve results. External conflicts are those that arise amongst those being led. The external conflicts can be social, cultural, spiritual or other. How a leader is able to mitigate or manage conflict will determine the quality and effectiveness of leadership.
 
Courage includes the willingness to do what is right in the face of risk. With “risk” there is a possibility of failure or loss and no guarantee that everything will turn out fine. Acting with courage may result in unpleasant experiences, yet it is a fundamental ingredient of leadership.
Perhaps courage can be defined by how we handle fear. It’s possible that courage is exhibited when we determine that our fear of disappointing God is greater than our fear of disappointing men. 
 
Thirdly, a leader must have a strong Moral Compass. A sense of right and wrong gives a leader confidence in himself. He can set an effective course of action. He can establish behavioral norms. He sets the parameters for avoiding or overcoming temptation. A moral compass also gives others a sense of confidence in the one who leads. 
 
God builds character in our lives by allowing us to experience situations where we are tempted to do the exact opposite of the character quality. Character development always involves a choice. When we make the right choice, our character grows more like Christ.
 
Similar to a moral compass is Conviction. The moral compass helps us avoid trespass, or misbehavior. Conviction is our internal alert system that sets off an alarm if we wander beyond the character line set for our life. If ever our moral compass malfunctions, our conviction will keep us from making shipwreck. Conviction helps us set boundaries. We live in a day where right and wrong often interact and overlap. Conviction draws a clear line between right and wrong, what we should do and what we should not do.
 
·       Ezekiel 22:26 Her priests have violated My law and profaned My holy things; they have not distinguished between the holy and unholy, nor have they made known the difference between the unclean and the clean; and they have hidden their eyes from My Sabbaths, so that I am profaned among them.
 
 
The fruit of the spirit includes the leadership characteristic of Self-Control. Leaders with self-discipline exercise appropriate personal control over their thoughts and actions and are able to manage and express emotions in constructive ways. They are well organized and able to persist in the face of difficulties. Through self-control, leaders engender confidence in their followers that they can be relied upon to make rational and logical decisions. As a consequence, their capacity to influence others often increases. Lao Tzu proposed that through mastering ourselves we find true power.
 
A leader must learn the art of cooperation. No one person will know everything that need to be known. We will be surrounded by people who have insight, ideas, intellect, inspiration and influence. A leader’s character will be tested in his willingness and ability to make use of the gifts, talents, skills and knowledge of those who surround him,
 
Character development is key to increasing our leadership Competence. A leader constantly works on their craft. It is important to take full advantage of every opportunity and make good use of every available resource to improve our effectiveness. Competence provides a sense of credibility that creates an environment where influence flows freely from the leader to those who follow. A leader strives to become expert in something to the extent that their expertise commands the respect of peers and followers.  

A critically important component of leadership seems to be possession of a well-rounded and comprehensive knowledge of subject matter, situational specifics, and potential adversity.  Competency in this area give the leader grace to prescribe actions and behavior necessary for the success of the individual and the group.

Perhaps the most overlooked characteristic that must be developed is consistency. We often look for consistency on lower level, yet don’t expect it or require it on higher levels. One will never be great where one is not first consistent. 
 
 
There is a tenfold means of measuring our leadership development:
 
1.    How does one handle rejection?
2.    How does one recover from failure?
3.    How does one overcome desert seasons?
4.    How does one deal with temptation?
5.    How does one respond to betrayal?
6.    How does one prepare in obscurity?
7.    How does one receive flattery or praise?
8.    How does one control feelings of envy or jealousy?
9.    How does one adjust to promotion?
10. How does one handle financial success?
 
We conclude our time together with a brief synopsis of the process used to develop leadership character:
 
1.    A leader is picked                – recognition
2.    A leader is praised               – affirmation
3.    A leader is proven                – testing
4.    A leader is persecuted        – challenge
5.    A leader is promoted           – approved
 
 
 
·      Romans 51 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. 
 
 
 
 
·      Luke 14:26  26 “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.
 
·      Luke 14:27  27 And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.
 
·      Luke 14:33  33 So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.












 


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