Leadership Definitions

An interview with Wayne Cordeiro about leadership.

Question: “Wayne, in your opinion, what are the top three qualities of, or contributing factors to a good leader or good leadership?”

  1. The top quality of a good leader is Noble Passion.
    This is a deep conviction held within a person that can enable others toward good and toward God’s best for a situation or life. It rises not simply from what lies before them but from what lies within them. Everyone is motivated or provoked to action by one or more sources. It could be deconstructive fuels such as insecurity, greed, avarice, or lust. On the other hand, it could be beneficent ones. Such noble passions are love for God, love for people, evangelism, justice, or humanitarian service.
  2. The second is Discipline.
    If you are without discipline, you will be without power when it is most required, and your leadership will be stranded. It is the self-initiated disciplinary virtue that optimizes a person’s potential, hones his skills and develops his gifts. It is discipline that corrects internal drifts and mitigates waste. Self-discipline gives endurance. It is what builds the tinsel strength of character and the inner might of fortitude. Without it, leadership will be limited to a sporadic spark rather than a consuming flame.
  3. The third is Wisdom from on High.
    Leadership is all about resolving problems, and the book of James reminds us not only of wisdom’s characteristics but also of its counterfeits. Problems that are rectified by selfish motives or for personal gain may bring a temporary cease fire, but it will never accomplish peace. True leadership acts consistently upon what love and wisdom dictate, without regard to personal promotion. Good leadership utilizes an inner compass whose true north is fixed by the pursuit of God’s wisdom in resolving every problem.

Question: “What are the top three things that can derail a good leader?”

  1. The top derailer to good leadership is Hubris.
    Conceit, self-importance and over confidence can slowly corrode and finally corrupt a once great leader’s ministry. It was the preface to Lucifer’s fall (Ez. 28:17). Hubris comes in many sizes and packages, and often it is undetectable to the carrier. These internal parasites often can only be uncovered through extreme crisis or ultimately, failure.
  2. The second cause that often derails leadership is Success.
    Not many can survive success. It must be viewed as a gift to be stewarded well. Like the nitroglycerin in dynamite, it is fragile and it is powerful. It is beneficent and it is destructive. Unguarded, the road to success and the road to a marital breakdown can be one and the same. Success is a trust that is not often stewarded well.
  3. The third cause for derailment is Ungratefulness.
    God is more concerned about our gratefulness than just about anything else in leadership. It is a safeguard. It is the conscience of success and the assigner of true credit. Gratefulness reminds the leader that when the ticker tape and confetti ceases, we all return, not to palatial dwellings, but to the Servants’ Quarters. That is our home. That is our hearts.

A good overall description of a good leader might be defined as this:

“A leader is a servant who takes the initiative to serve, and to serve well. He possesses a sense of eternal assignment that comes in tandem with a bias for action. He does not only love people but also the potential that lies within them.”

Dr. Wayne Cordeiro

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