Home Pastors Articles for Pastors 7 Practical Indicators of Good Leadership Character

7 Practical Indicators of Good Leadership Character

leadership character

Good leadership character is the indispensable quality of leadership.

Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but whoever takes crooked paths will be found out. – Proverbs 10:9

It doesn’t matter how intelligent, talented or successful a leader is, if they lack integrity, over time they will lose influence. In fact, one of the fastest ways for a person to lose influence is when their talent rises above their character.

When we talk about leadership character, we very quickly come to the issue of trust. People don’t follow leaders they don’t trust, at least not for long. Good character doesn’t mean you don’t make mistakes, but it does mean people can trust your heart.

Good character doesn’t imply perfection. You don’t have to be perfect to be trustworthy. The passage where the Lord speaks to Solomon offers us helpful insight.

4 “As for you, if you walk before me faithfully with integrity of heart and uprightness, as David your father did, and do all I command and observe my decrees and laws, 5 I will establish your royal throne over Israel forever, as I promised David your father when I said, ‘You shall never fail to have a successor on the throne of Israel.’ – I Kings 9:4-5

We know David was human, he was not perfect, but he possessed integrity of heart. Good character leaves room for human imperfection, but not a consistent pattern of dishonesty, putting self before others, and the lack of confession and a contrite heart.

Indicators of Good Leadership Character 

1) You live by the same standards that you expect of others.

When leaders are under pressure, short on time and face many demands, temptation can increase. One of those temptations is to cut corners and lower standards; this will quickly erode character.

Good character requires that you personally practice the same lifestyle that you expect of others.

2) What you do when no one is looking is pleasing to God.

A person’s character is never any better than their secrets. Secrets slowly eat at your soul, erode character and in time are discovered.

On the positive side, your character is developed when you intentionally live to please God in the moments when He is the only one who sees and knows.

3) Those who know you best trust you the most.

One of the greatest compliments to your character comes from family and close friends who see you close up. For example, my wife’s opinion of my character is of upmost importance to me. She knows me better than anyone else. If she fully trusts me and is proud of my integrity, I know I’m on the right track.

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Dr. Dan Reiland serves as Executive Pastor at 12Stone Church in Lawrenceville, Georgia. He previously partnered with John Maxwell for 20 years, first as Executive Pastor at Skyline Wesleyan Church in San Diego, then as Vice President of Leadership and Church Development at INJOY. He and Dr. Maxwell still enjoy partnering on a number of church related projects together.