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The 8 D’s of Good Leadership

By January 5, 2012October 23rd, 2014Church, Leadership

In school, you may not have been too happy with the grade of D. There was that one time in a college marketing class when I was proud of an earned D (that’s a long story), but most of the time, we want to do better.

Maybe we’ve given D a bad name sometimes…especially when it comes to leadership.

Here are 8 D’s of good leadership:

Demand – There should be some non-negotiables when we talk in terms of good leadership. Leaders need to excel in issues of such as moral excellence, responsiveness and character. (Read 7 Non-Negotiable Traits to Work on My Team)

Deliver – You need to show up as a leader. Good leaders follow through on their commitments and can be depended upon to do what they say they will do. Leaders lead so others can follow by example. (Read: The Leader Sets the Bar)

Direct – Good leaders guide and shape the path of the organization. Leaders need to clearly communicate expectations and continually follow up to ensure the organization stays on track. (Read 4 Tasks of the Senior Leader)

Divert – Good leaders aren’t in a position to seek all the admiration for themselves. Good leaders consistently point to the successes of others on the team, and ultimately give all the recognition for any success to God. (Read Sign of a Great Leader, The Humility to Say “I’m Not the One”)

Discuss – Good leaders keep an open dialogue with the people they lead. A leader who wants to be valued by a team allows his or her leadership to be vulnerable, questioned and challenged. (Read 7 Ways to Hear “I Have a Problem with You Leader”)

Develop – Good leaders empower others and are always recruiting and developing new leaders. (Read 4 Benefits of Empowering Leaders.)

Drive – Leaders push the organization to succeed. Good leaders are strategic. They push people and the organization to greater heights taking them places others wanted to go, but didn’t know how to get there. (Read Leaders Encourage Their Team to Victory)

Decided – Regardless of what comes, good leaders stick to the God-given vision until He calls them elsewhere. (Read My Best Advice for Leaders When Things are Going Wrong)

Leader, earn your grade! Get a D in good leadership!

Be honest, which of these 8 do you most need to improve upon? (I’ll go first. My biggest weakness on the list is “Direct”. I need to better communicate expectations to my team.)

What did I miss? What words (starting with the letter D) should be on my list for good leadership? 

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Ron Edmondson

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Join the discussion 30 Comments

  • dibert says:

    Great list… have you considered adding Delegate?

    Since a good leader usually wants the ministry to grow beyond his/her capacity, he realizes he cannot perform all the tasks needed, and provides the vision for a team where he delegates responsibility and authority to another person or team to help. Accountability still rest with the leader but is also shared with the person or team delegated to. Delegated authority allows the person to have enough independence to the do task effectively. With authority comes an equal amount of responsibility. Some biblical examples of delegation can be found Gen 2:15, Exodus 18:17-27, Matt 28:16-20, Luke 10:1-18, Acts 6:1-7. When leadership and delegation are effectively, the organization continues to function well and grow when the leader is gone for a short time; although the long term vision may suffer if they are gone for an extended time.

    • ronedmondson says:

      Honestly, I have and have written a lot on the subject before. You've got great thoughts here and I agree with them. For some reason I just missed this one.Thanks!

    • Rev.Felix Zara says:

      Dear Dibert,
      I wonder and i must ask this question;why our top leaders are not delegating the power to their coworkers?
      What can you say about people who are humbling themself in job search but not humbling themself in leaving the job vaccance?
      Our leaders are to work for the welbeing of their community,but why are they not listening to the community voices?

  • Ron,

    This is a great list! Thanks for sharing your insight!

  • tijuanabecky

    I need to work on finding and developing other leaders.

  • Dan Black says:

    Great list. I would add dependable, the people below, across, and above you need to know your going to be dependable.

  • ronedmondson says:

    Good thoughts. Certainly agree with you in principal, but not in practice. We use lots of words today that aren't specifically used in Scripture…Sunday school…for example. There are lots of "leaders" in the Bible using today's terminology.

    Remember Amos, we don't talk in Greek or Hebrew 🙂

    I do appreciate your passion.

  • A. Amos Love says:

    Hi Ron

    How about these “D’s” for “Good Leadership.” Don’t – Depart – Decrease

    1 – Don’t…
    Jesus, in Mat 23:10 NASB instructed His Disciples NOT to be called “Leader.”
    And NOT one disciple called them self “Leader.” They ALL called themselves “Servant.”.

    2 – Depart…
    Jesus as man, in John 6:15 KJV, “Departed” into a mountain himself alone
    when they tried to make him King – Leader of the people.

    Thayers has “king”(basileus) also as “leader of the people.”

    3 – Decrease…
    John the baptist, in John 3:30 pointed folks to Jesus, saying, He must increase, but *I must decrease.*


    My advice now is: When they want to make you a leader; run… run as fast as you can.
    The snare, the trap has been set. Your *test* has begun…

    A man that flattereth his neighbour spreadeth a net (trap) for his feet.
    Pro 29:5

    Bread of deceit is sweet to a man; but afterwards his mouth shall be filled with gravel.
    Pr 20:17

    And seekest thou great things for thyself? seek them not…
    Jer 45:5

    Jesus, as man, didn’t want that recognition or honor. He humbled Himself.

    Jesus also said…
    John 5:41 – I receive *NOT* honour from men.
    John 5:44 – How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another,
    and seek not the honour that cometh from God only?

    When someone is called “Leader:” And is known as a “Leader.”
    Are they “Receiving Honor” from men?

    Jesus also said…
    John 7:18 – He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory…
    John 8:50 – And I seek not mine own glory…

    When someone let’s people know, I’m a “Leader.” Is that seeking your own glory?

    If someone thinks they are a leader?
    Why do they want people to follow them? And NOT follow Jesus?

    Luke 16:15 – And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men;
    but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men
    is abomination in the sight of God.

    Seems to me “Leadership” is highly essteemed among men. Yes? NOT servanthood.

    Jesus loves me and forgives me all my sin…

  • I think the discuss one might be one I need to work on more. It's not that I'm opposed to correction or counsel at all. I would very much welcome it. But unfortunately, I seem to put off a vibe that I'm not open to correction. I've been trying to correct that by explicitly welcoming people to talk to me and having places where people can put anonymous notes. I hope that helps.

  • Buddy Services says:

    Aha! I thought of one that most leaders would never add:

    Delight or Delectation.

    This goes along with Delegation, in that showing your "delight" to the work of team members with smiles and thank yous goes a very long way. Or "delight" in a job well done.

    An offshoot, but a possible? Yes? I dunno, maybe – Heh.

    Hard "Decision."

  • Buddy Services says:

    Hello 🙂

    Mark Cole had it right – Delegate needs to be there, I agree.

    When you delegate you show faith in the abilities of team members and this always brings out their best qualities. They will become better team members when they see their leader give them credit (praise) for the work too.

    I think you covered some of this with "divert" and "direct" – a little. 😀

    Great article! Tweeted, as always. 🙂

  • Some add-ons for words (starting with the letter D) that could be on the list:

    — Dedicated
    — Do….er
    — Discover
    — Demonstrate
    — Determined

  • Jeff says:

    Love this list Ron! I am going to pass this along to my team.

  • Mark Cole says:

    Opps.. the 9th..

  • Mark Cole says:

    Excellent.. here's a suggestion from my cousin (CEO of ..And the 8th D is Delegate!!! :). The ability to release responsibility and authority to others so that others can reach their potential and find fulfillment. Jesus said "all power is given into me…I give you power…go…".

  • I read your blog daily, but I don't think I've ever commented before. I just want to say thank you for your excellent posts. I've linked to and excerpted many of your posts on my own blog (, and continue to benefit from your writing. Thanks again.

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