Developing the Mindset of a Leader
Leaders think differently than followers. To be a leader, we must think like a leader. The following is a quick list of twelve principles for developing a leadership mindset.
1. Accept and affirm the call to leadership. Be willing to accept the role and responsibilities without compulsion or obligation1.
2. Exercise the responsibilities of leadership conscientiously and thoroughly, not reluctantly or passively2. You are no longer a follower, but a leader. Take responsibility.
3. Humbly accept and exercise spiritual authority as a leader operating under Christ’s authority. The exercise of a leader’s authority must always be to build up and empower, and used for the collective good3.
4. Be decisive and exercise initiative; don’t be indecisive and ambiguous. Make decisions and stick with them. Acknowledge and admit wrong ones. Be proactive, not reactive.
5. Be strong and courageous. Even though you may be naturally timid, shy, or insecure, the Scripture calls for leaders to be strong and be courageous4. Be bold, but not brash.
6. Be led by God, not by the people. Do what God tells you to do. Avoid decisions made to appease people or to keep a vocal minority of people happy5.
7. Be people-centred – a shepherd of those the Lord has entrusted to your care6. Love them. Take care of them in the way Jesus would want them cared for.
8. Develop the practice of lifelong learning. Be inquisitive, read widely, study often, think deeply, and reflect regularly.
9. Be secure in your leadership, calling, and position. Be comfortable in who you are (remembering that God is not finished). Leaders must manage their insecurities.
10. Be like Jesus. The pre-eminent way to develop the mindset of a leader is to learn from Jesus’ life and leadership. Jesus embodies and exemplifies the mindset of the perfect and model spiritual leader.
11. Study the lives and leadership of other great leaders7 – either through observation, reading, or listening. Read biographies, ask questions, and study the principles and practices of successful leaders.
12. LEAD! One of the most effective ways to learn leadership is by being involved in leadership.