Three Key Characteristics of an Effective Leader

Lyle Wells, President of Integrus Leadership recently joined the Decisions podcast to dive into some important principles from his book, The Five Day Leader – a guide to help you lead with confidence, accelerate your impact, grow your ministry, and transform your community. We hope his insight and practical strategies renew your spirit and give you the tools you need to become a more courageous leader.

No leader sets out to be average. But somewhere along the way, we get stuck, hit a cap, and simply run out of courage.

What does courage have to do with successful leadership and why is it so important? Because along with courage comes confidence. And the internal confidence of every leader typically comes from a skill set. People who see themselves as competent are more likely to take risks and lean into whatever challenges come their way.

So what does a courageous leader look like? Here are three characteristics:
1. Courageous leaders are committed to relentless growth.

Are you hungry to grow? Strong leaders are deeply committed to growth, no matter how far they’ve climbed the ladder of success. And not just professionally. They strive toward personal growth, spiritual growth, and health within their families. And often, that growth comes from the encouragement of another person.

When a leader reaches the point where they don’t feel as though they have skills and there is no one to speak into them, they run out of courage, isolate, and no longer strive for growth. Every leader needs a truth-teller and a tank-filler in life.

2. Courageous leaders are dedicated to ridiculous routines.

Successful people don’t get tired of doing the same right thing over, and over, and over again. A leader who is physically healthy does not get tired of going to the gym or eating well. The pastor who leads well does not get tired of preparing his messages week after week.

Greatness demands intentionality. And here’s what that looks like practically: Define three priorities each week and if those are accomplished by Friday, it’s a good week. Then, do that 50 times a year, simply compounding those behaviors, and it’s a great year!

The compounding impact of intentional behaviors executed over time yields big results.

3. Courageous leaders invest in resilient relationships.

You’ve heard it said: “It’s all about relationships!” But really, it’s all about relationships that stand the test of time. It’s about those relationships that withstand a pandemic, a struggling marriage that withstands the hard days, or a business that withstands an internal conflict.

Developing resilient relationships depends on you. People are tired of being lied to. They’re tired of the false celebrations at the end of the year and they’re longing for authenticity. They want their leader to sit across from them and tell them they matter. They want to feel seen and loved.  So as a leader, be sure you’re not only investing in your personal relationships, but those within your organization. Your culture will thank you for it!

If you desire to make more personal impact as a leader this year, keep modeling these three things and empower your people to take ownership as well. The healthiest organizations are the ones in which everyone behaves like an owner. This will have a profound effect on your culture and will only prove what we know to be true…

People follow courage.


For more insight into how to lead your organization confidently and effectively, be sure to listen to the Decisions podcast, You are Uniquely Created to Lead.

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