There are some characteristics which set a great leader apart from mediocre leaders. Markers, if you will.

Great leaders are multidimensional. While continuing to improve, great leaders have achieved certain characteristics which help them achieve success.

If you see these qualities combined, you’ve probably found an amazing leader.

Here are 7 marks of a great leader:

Humility. Great leaders are willing to surrender “their” way when it’s not the best way. They realize and appreciate the strength of a team.

Intentionality. Great leaders continue to learn. They have mentors. They read. They continue their education through conferences or school. They know they can’t help others grow if they aren’t personally growing.

Compassion. Great leaders consider the needs of others ahead of their own. They care about people beyond what people can do for them personally.

Integrity. Great leaders never separate character from their definition of quality or success. They know there can be nothing of real value if those who are trying to follow can’t give their respect to the leader.

Passion. Great leaders have the ability to rally a team and articulate the path to victory. They can communicate to spur momentum and garner support.

Vision. Great leaders see things others can’t see or, for whatever reason failed to pursue. They take people where they need to go, but may be afraid to go on their own.

Strength. Great leaders have the discipline to follow through on commitments. They weather the storms of time. They are still standing firm when others are dropping out of the race.

I’m not claiming all great leaders excel in each of these areas. And, I am certainly not saying I have these markers, but I do believe there should be a certain level of accomplishment, a progression towards each of these in a leader’s life. At the very least, a desire to achieve these markers should be a goal of great leaders.

Related Posts

Ron Edmondson

Author Ron Edmondson

More posts by Ron Edmondson

Join the discussion 15 Comments

  • Parani says:

    My book Golden Stripes lists several qualities of a leader which match those that you’ve wonderfully described. But a difference is that I begin with ‘expertise’ as a foundation for solid leadership. My perspective is that of the merchant-marines where my experience taught me that without competencies in the area of work, all else doesn’t stand well. Ron- could my view stand true for other disciplines as well?
    (By the way, my book though aimed at merchant-mariners has lots of good sea-stories with universal appeal)

  • Ross says:

    I have a concern that my church is not growing, people come but they do not stay. The love, the teaching and preaching are awesome. I just don't understand. People love our leaders and lives are changed by the word, but they do not stay????????? Any thoughts please!

    • ronedmondson says:

      It's hard to diagnose here without more information. Here are a couple quick thoughts:1. Do a survey of anyone who visited in the last year. Ask them why they stayed or didn't stay.2. Do a church wide/or leadership wide brainstorming session. Many times there are answers in the room that come from collected thinking. Ask, why aren't people staying and what can we do?3. Pay a community member (or a professional consultant if you can afford it) to “secret shop” your church and give you honest feedback. Many times we can't see what's missing on our own.You'll have to do something intentional to get the answers you don't have.Praying for you.

  • Hmmm, I think I have about 3 or 4 of these leadership qualities, Ron. Much to improve upon. Great post!

  • Kmac4him

    Great! I might add this one:
    With followship, keeping your head out of the past-fully facing God-moving forward as He leads

  • How about the mark of Gratitude? Oftentimes I have found that when I reflect on things that I am fortunate to have, my energy and optimism skyrockets. When this happens, I believe leaders move into a peak state of mind.

  • Bryan K

    I would love to say I ingabit all of those qualities….have a hard time doing that and keeping my tongue from fall off! 😉 the best I can do at this point is say I am aspiring to them. Some are easier than others, but I am not qualified for all.

    The only thing I can think to add might be “With the type personality that would keep people looking to and willing to listen to you. Some have many of these qualities , but the personality of a brick!

  • @PedroOkoro says:

    Hi Ron, __As ever you've kept this short, simple and consise. Exellent stuff!____Just wondered if you considered the ability of a leader to 'reproduce' themself as a mark of a great leader. So, it will be, "With determination training and mentoring the next generation of leaders".____With every blessing,__Pedro Okoro

  • josh says:

    I don't know that you missed a marker, because it might be built in to these…but the idea/concept of discipling and mentoring? If I see these markers in a man, I want to follow him, but is he approachable and intentionally inviting younger men to follow him?

Leave a Reply

Have you Subscribed via RSS yet? Don't miss a post!