8 things great leaders do

By Jim LaDoux
What do great leaders consistently do to make a lasting difference?  Here are a few of my thoughts as I observe the impact and interactions of church leaders.  I believe that great leaders . .

  1. Define reality. They review what's working and what's not working. They note the bright spots in ministry as well as name where the organization has challenges or is stuck. They look for ways that the mission, vision, and values are being lived out.  They notice which ministries matter, how they're measured, and how progress is celebrated. They observe what is said and done along with what isn't said and done.
  2. Think big bi-focally.  Great leaders view life and ministry at the street level and from the balcony.  They pay attention to what's most important to accomplish a year from now while also planning the next faithful step. They schedule time to get above the fray, think long term, dream big picture, while also seeing that the small details are being handled.
  3. Keep the main thing the main thing. Great leaders often do less as they pour their time, energy and resources into doing what matters most. They separate the urgent from the important. They guard against the temptation to say yes to every good idea.
  4. Make strategic decisions.  One of the key functions of a leader is to decide what to say yes to and when to say no.  Great leaders terminate norms that are no longer useful, meetings and events that have little impact, and communications that aren't central to the mission.  l
  5. Position people in roles where they have the greatest impact. Great leaders discover and deploy people's "superpowers" on the organization's most significant projects and opportunities. They continue to develop their leaders in ways that support the organization's mission. They also discern with leaders where God is leading them and what their next faithful step is their personal and professional growth.
  6. Embody the organization's mission, vision, and values. Great leaders, through their words and actions, exemplify the habits, norms and healthy communication patterns to reinforce the organization's DNA. They set healthy standards for leaders and teams.
  7. Raise up new leaders by sharing power and delegating projects. Great leaders share the  ministry with others. They recognize that leadership is a team sport and don’t try to do it all themselves. They don’t feel threatened when someone else can do a ministry better than they. By delegating projects to others, they save their time and energy for the things that matter most and where their own gifts are best utilized.
  8. Build trusting relationships. Great leaders recognize that trust is the foundation of all good relationships. They build trust by keeping their commitments, by having each other's back, by standing up for people when they're wronged, and by doing what's in the best interests of their organization and the people they serve. Great leaders get to know their team members, draw our their strengths, seek their wisdom, and walk alongside them.

What other essentials traits/habits do you think great leaders should embody?


  1. What are the things you regularly do that model great leadership?
  2. Who has modeled great leadership for you? What did they say or do?
  3. Which leadership habits do you need to pay closer attention to?
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