Hidden Qualities of Exceptional Leaders – Authenticity

In today’s culture it’s easy to believe that leaders “stand out” based on external or easily observed qualities.

It may be their physical presence or command of a room as they speak. It may be the way that they always seem to be “in control” no matter what the situation.

Over the next several weeks, I’d like to share a few “hidden qualities” of exceptional leaders that I have observed over the years. These are character traits or sometimes skills that have been developed or refined through years of pursuing the uncommon pathway to excellence.

The first hidden quality is that of authenticity. If there’s one characteristic that is demanded by next generation leaders and appreciated by every segment of leaders its authenticity.

The digital age in which we find ourselves makes it very easy to become somebody else, someone who you’re not. Facebook and Twitter and numerous other social media outlets give us a platform to create a persona that is not who we really are….


Ronald Reagan: The Great Communicator

Communication is the Oxygen of Leadership (Part 2 of 3)

Many American presidents have made an impact on our country as great communicators. Some examples are John F. Kennedy, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. But only one president was actually called “the great communicator”, and that was Ronald Reagan.

Reagan was a good executive because he possessed a clear vision, made decisions easily, surrounded himself with leaders with complementary skills, and delegated very effectively. But he was a great leader because of his uncanny ability to communicate. When it came to leading the country, people knew who he was, where he stood, what he wanted, and they couldn’t wait to get on board with him. His ability to communicate effectively made him the kind of leader people wanted to follow.

You may not aspire to be president, but every leader still needs strong communication skills. The success of your marriage, job, and personal relationships depend on it. People will not follow you if they don’t know what you want or where you are going.

Here I continue what I started last week, the 12 great principles of communication:…


Jesus Washing Peter's Feet

To Lead, You Must Serve

If leadership is influence, and we have the desire to be leaders, why do we want to influence people? I’m sure there are many answers to that question. Some people want to influence others in order to feel better about themselves. I think that is why there are so many self-help books out there. Others work to influence others for their own gain. Our primary goal at Passavant Leadership Group is to come alongside the leaders of churches, so our reasons are much different than these. We want to partner with leaders in order to advance The Kingdom of God. Our reason for influence is Jesus Christ.

This is why leadership in the church looks so much different than leadership in many companies of the world. Our leadership example did not influence others for His own gain or to feel good about Himself. Instead, He served others in order to influence them….


Chris Stark Interviews Mila Kunis about Oz

The Ten Million Hit Leadership Lesson

On March 4, 2013 an interview was published to YouTube. Chris Stark, a rookie reporter from a popular BBC radio show, sat down to interview Mila Kunis. Mila Kunis began her rise to stardom during nine seasons of That 70’s Show; since then, her career and popularity have grown exponentially.

Why do I mention this? Since the seven minute interview hit YouTube less than ten days ago, it has garnered over 10.4 million hits. [You can watch the interview by clicking here.]  That’s an average of over 1 million hits a day. What has made this video of what should have been a fairly boring actress/reporter promotional interview something that more than 10 million people have directed their browsers to see?…


Random Knowledge vs. Focused Learning

Leaders Must Be Focused Learners

Let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance.
Proverbs 1:5 NIV

If we are to lead others effectively, we need to be committed to be lifelong learners. When you limit your learning, you limit your growth in every area of life. But with so many avenues available for learning, leaders do not have the time to learn just for the sake of learning. Collecting random knowledge may allow you to beat the average person on Jeopardy, but it will not translate into seeing your unique God-given gifts emerge. Instead, the best leaders focus their learning on the things that set them apart.

I have had the opportunity to serve as an executive coach to a number of senior leaders in a number of different organizations. My goal was never to identify their weakest areas and turn them into strengths. If a visionary leader has a messy office, it is a waste of his or her time to focus their learning on how to excel at planning and organizing.

When weaknesses are so distracting that they threaten to derail a leader, they must be mitigated. However, it is a futile exercise to try to turn weaknesses into strengths. Instead, executive coaching is best focused on how a leader can take the strengths that have propelled them to success and develop, leverage and maximize those strengths….


Top 10 Qualities For A Great Leader

What Personal Qualities Do Great Leaders Have? (Part 2)

There are many bases for leadership: positional, relational, knowledge/information, performance, etc. But real, lasting leadership tends to be based upon influential relationships. Previously, I listed 5 common misunderstandings about leadership. If those misunderstandings are examples of what leadership is not, then what personal qualities do make a great leader?

I started answering that question last week in What Personal Qualities Do Great Leaders Have? (Part 1). Here now are the final 4 of my “Top 10” personal qualities for a leader:…