What qualities separate leaders from great leaders? Allen Parr explains six qualities from the life of Jesus Christ that will help you rethink your own leadership.
One: Great Leaders Possess Passion
Jesus Christ was passionate about who he was leading, even flipping over the tables in the temple at one point (Matthew 21:12). Morale can be low on teams if leaders are passionless. If you want to maximize your leadership capacity, be passionate about who and what you’re leading, and be sure to communicate that passion to your team.
The speed of the leader determines the speed of the team. -Mary Kay Ash
The pessimist complains about the wind. The optimist expects it to change. The leader adjusts the sails. -John Maxwell
Two: Great Leaders Win with People
One way to win with people is to communicate well. Communication should be clear, meaning followers understand what the leader wants, consistent, compelling, and charismatic. Jesus Christ exemplified these qualities. He “Taught and spoke as one who had authority” (Mark 1:22; 4:1).
Motivation is also important – showing people their importance to the team so they are inspired to give their all to the team’s mission.
Delegation is key as well. A leader who understands the principle of multiplication will empower people so that they desire to carry out the vision of the team. Leader who understand delegation entrust their team members to carry out the team’s goals without being micromanaged, but for this to really work, the team must communicate well and be motivated.
Three: Great Leaders See Possibilities
Great leaders aren’t afraid to take risks or find new paths. Jesus Christ was trying to unite Jews and Gentiles – people who historically hated one another. The possibilities Jesus Christ saw eventually came true. The early church was a church of both Jews and Gentiles.
To take calculated risks, leaders must first overcome their fear of failure.
Four: Great Leaders Solve Problems
Not only do they solve problems, but they have discernment to see problems and deal with problems before they come.
Jesus Christ foresaw humanity’s sin problem and executed the perfect strategy to deal with that problem.
Five: Great Leaders Exhibit Perseverance
Jesus Christ was on a mission to fulfill his purposes. He did not allow his opponents and even well-meaning family and friends to stop him from going after his goal.
Leaders can expect opposition in all walks of life. Great leaders, like Jesus Christ, will not allow their discouragement to deter them from accomplishing their goals.
Six: Great Leaders Demonstrate Progress
Even Jesus Christ grew in wisdom and stature (Luke 2:52). Great leaders recognize that they must always be progressing. They must always stay ahead of the people they’re leading. That’s why great leaders are great readers and great learners. (1 Timothy 4:15.)
- Demonstrate passion.
- Win with people.
- See possibilities.
- Solve problems.
- Exhibit perseverance.
- Show progress.
Keep Allen Parr’s “Six P’s of Great Leaders” based on Jesus Christ’s life in mind in your own leadership and teams.
Written content for this topic by Daniel Martin.
- Watch the video together or invite someone to summarize the topic.
- What is your initial reaction to this video? Do you disagree with any of it? What jumped out at you?
- In your own work or service as a leader or a member of a team, have you seen some failings in leadership that have taught you how you don’t want to lead? Explain or a share a story.
- Who is a leader you’ve seen who possessed great passion? What was it like to watch this person work or to work for this person? Explain.
- Have you seen a leader who communicates, motivates, and delegates? What does this person’s team look like when it is working at top-efficiency?
- In your work, service, or other ventures in life, have you been on teams where the team or you as a leader needed to exercise perseverance to move on? Explain a challenging time where perseverance won the day. How did you and your team get through it?
- In your leadership, have you gone through times where you just wanted to quit? Or have you been on a team where the leader seemed this way? Explain.
- Are you a leader or do you serve under leaders who make it a priority to constantly progress so they can better lead? Explain how this has benefited your organization or team.
- Write a personal action step based on this conversation.