“Seven Signs of True Strength in A Leader”
“Strength and weakness, it’s a fine line for sure. Neither a singular heroic moment nor a moment of weakness can define you as a leader. The larger pattern of your life tells the real story.
Further, it’s easier to recognize true strength when in contrast to an opposing pressure you face.
In that light, here are seven comparisons that help us see and develop a pattern over the course of our life that reflects and reveals true strength as a leader.”
1) Strength to forgive when wronged
If you have been leading for some time, you undoubtedly have been hurt, wronged, or perhaps even betrayed. Thankfully, it’s not frequent, but it is part of leadership, and each hit takes its cumulative toll. Forgiving others isn’t always easy, but it’s necessary. If you are unable to forgive, you will likely become bitter, and bitter makes you smaller, which causes your leadership to shrink.
2) Strength to love and care for others
Here we are not talking about a romantic love but the agape love for your fellowman. Love and forgiveness are closely related, but forgiveness is mainly internal, and love and caring demonstrates itself in outward actions. You never know how a simple smile when addressing someone can lift the burdens of the day. On a practical level, the best way to consistently care about the welfare of others is to make the decision to do so.
3) Strength to take risks when fearful
Taking a risk is often considered in connection to the external issue your decision is based upon, like hiring a particular staff member or launching a new initiative. However, the fear of taking a risk is connected more internally to the level of your personal strength than externally based on the size or gravity of the decision at hand. To be sure, when making a decision on a huge risk, the stakes are higher, and you are wise to be cautious.
4) Strength to stand under pressure
Over the past eighteen months or so, the pressure leaders have faced has risen dramatically. Have you felt it? Of course, you have. Now for the more difficult question. Under all the pressures you face today, how well are you standing for your deep beliefs and convictions? No leader wants to crumble under pressure, but because of their strong beliefs and convictions, they are willing to stand strong.
5) Strength to give when empty
Our role as leaders is to serve and set examples. In essence, it is to give. A leader gives in so many ways: making good decisions, solving problems, absorbing criticism, resolving relational conflict, and the list goes on. Giving of yourself on a consistent basis, even when you practice a healthy lifestyle, can occasionally leave your tank on empty. It’s in those moments that your strength to continue giving is tested. What are you doing today to refill your tank so you can continue to give to others?
6) Strength to press on when overwhelmed
When many of the things you once knew or at least thought you knew about leading an organization no longer seem valid, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. But consider this.
The need for change, even difficult change, has always been part of leadership. The difference today is not what you are facing; it’s the speed at which you must face it. It can be overwhelming. What is the remedy? Know your margin for error; allow time to think, and rest.
7) Strength to walk away when tempted.
It is important to know that the inability to say “no” to just one serious temptation could jeopardize your integrity or remove you from leadership. This is true leadership strength.
Source: Dan Reiland, Pastors’ Leadership Coach, edited excerpts from Newsletter, 12Stone Church Resources