It’s important for Christian leaders to accurately assess leadership potential. Become an expert at being able to spot it in young leaders!
To grow in your ability to do this – focus on the greatest predictor of future performance: past behavior. Don’t focus on how a potential leader would act in a hypothetical situation or context. Instead, assess how they have acted in the past.
I’d also encourage you to read great books on spiritual leadership. I highly recommend J. Oswald Sanders book appropriately titled: Spiritual Leadership. Read it every year! I’ve been through it many, many times and I’ve taken many potential leaders through a study of the principles of this book. Currently I have a group of young men who meet with me at 6am every Tuesday morning for an hour and we are studying this book together. It’s awesome to see how they are growing in their understanding of spiritual leadership. Sanders offers practical lessons, stories, quotes, Biblical examples, life experiences, and lots of questions for potential leaders.
20 Questions to Assess Leadership Potential
- Have you ever broken a bad habit? To lead others, you must master your appetites.
- Do you keep self-control when things to wrong? The leader who loses control under adversity forfeits respect and influence. A leader must be calm in criss nad resilitent in disappointment.
- Do you think independently? A leader must use the best ideas of others to make decisions,. A leader cannot wait for others to make up his or her mind.
- Can you handle criticism? Can you profit from it? The humble person can learn from petty criticism, even malicious criticism.
- Can you turn disappointment into creative new opportunity?
- Do you readily gain the cooperation of otehrs and wein their respect and confidence?
- Can you exert discipline without making a power play? True leadership is an internal quality of the spirit and needs no show of external force.
- Are you a peacemaker? A leader must be able to reconcile with opponents and make peace where arguments have created hostility.
- Do people trust you with difficult and delicate situations?
- Can you induce people to do happily some legitimate thing that they would not normally wish to do?
- Can you accept opposition to your viewpoint or decision without taking offense? Leaders always face opposition.
- Can you make and keep friends? Your circle of loyal friends is an index of your leadership potential.
- Do you depend on the praise of others to keep you going? Can you hold steady in the face of disapproval and even temporary loss of confidence?
- Are you at ease in the presence of strangers? Do you get nervous in the presence of your superior?
- Are the people who report to you generally at ease? A leader should be sympathetic and friendly.
- Are you interested in people? All types? All races? No prejudice?
- Are you tactful? Can you anticipate how your words will affect a person?
- Is your will strong and steady? Leaders cannot vacillate or cannot drift with the wind.
- Can you forgive? Or do you nurse resentments and harbor ill-feelings toward those who have injured you?
- Are you reasonably optimistic? Pessimism and leadership do not mix.
I love these questions that Sanders asks! I hope you will not only read them – but really evaluate you answering them can help you identify areas to grow in your leadership. “Adding leadership potential to our lives usually requires that we shake off negative elements that hold us back.” – J. Oswald Sanders, Spiritual Leadership (p 37)
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