12 Characteristics of Effective Leaders
Following is an outline of a presentation given by Carlisle Driggers at Bambi Lake.
Leaders are made, not born. Leaders learn to lead; they are lifelong learners. Effective
leaders keep on learning, but they never arrive.
Characteristics of Effective Leaders:
1. Effective leaders are results oriented. They help to set and reach goals. However,
they are not demanding, always looking over people’s shoulders, or heavy handed.
2. Effective leaders ask the right questions. They don’t try to come up with all the
answers. They ask questions like, “Have you thought about this?”
3. Effective leaders listen more and talk less. They have two ears and one mouth and
they use them accordingly.
4. Effective leaders know that the best time to act is when there is a crisis. People tend
to either run or be demanding in a crisis. Effective leaders address the challenges.
5. Effective leaders sell; they rarely tell. They begin with vision, purpose and values.
They influence people rather than telling them what to do.
6. Effective leaders identify and build on strengths while they manage weaknesses.
Every organization has at least one strength. They identify strengths and then add
to them. They don’t let weaknesses control the organization.
7. Effective leaders identify the basics and stay with them. The basics are purpose,
vision, values, and passion.
8. Effective leaders know that money follows mission. Money will come in to support a
passionately followed mission.
9. Effective leaders know how to handle interruptions with grace and patience, and
then get back to the basics. Interruptions are unavoidable, but effective leaders
quickly get back to their passion.
10. Effective leaders know the critical importance of getting the right people on the bus.
They have the right people in the organization, serving in the right positions.
11. Effective leaders change the conversation. They change the conversation from
negative to positive. They get out and talk a different, positive message.
12. Effective leaders know how to pray for divine guidance. Secular leaders pray. How
much more should Christian leaders pray for guidance?
Those who lead best find their own voice and help others find their voice. A leaders’ job is
to help those around him or her become effective leaders.