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10 Characteristics of the Best Second-Chair Leaders I’ve Known

second-chair leaders

It’s not always easy to be a second-chair leader, especially when you want to lead but aren’t in the primary seat of leadership. On the other hand, good second-chair leaders are important for the church. As I think of the best second-chair leaders I’ve known, I think of these characteristics:

  1. They truly find their identity in Christ. All of us should do the same, but the best second-chair person isn’t worried about recognition. He serves without regard for status, wanting only to please the Lord.
  2. They have little interest in the first chair. It’s not that they don’t want to lead; it’s simply that they know they best use their gifts when supporting another leader—and they’re fine with that role.
  3. They feel called to the second chair. Some folks wind up in the second chair because that’s the only role they could find, and they’re just waiting for the time to take the next step. Sometimes the second chair is frustrating to them. Those who do well in this chair, on the other hand, have a clear sense of God’s call to the position.
  4. They love helping others succeed. That, in fact, is what lights their fire. They long to see others follow the Lord, and they’re completely fine when others do greater things for the Lord than they do.
  5. They keep growing in their role and their walk with the Lord. In some ways, second-chair leaders may have reached the pinnacle of their potential positions; the best ones, though, never stop strengthening their skills. They continually grow in the Lord.
  6. They ask the first-chair leader, “What can I do to help you today?” That is, they don’t wait to learn about the needs; they take the initiative to find out what they can do to assist the first chair. One of my most effective assistants always started the day by asking me, “What can I do for you today, dean?”
  7. They work well in multiple roles and with all kinds of people. Often, the second-chair person is the confidante, the “guard,” and the implementor for the first-chair leader. He helps protect the leader’s time for study and prayer. He aids in establishing new programs and strategies. His work is varied, yet he works well with almost everyone.
  8. They build teams to do ministry. The best second-chair leaders I’ve known recognized that the work of the gospel doesn’t stop with the two top chairs. They know their task is to support their leader while also raising up new leaders.
  9. They don’t worry when the first-chair leader gets credit for work they’ve done. Even if they’re tempted in this direction, they reject the enemy’s arrows. They fight hard to keep their ego in check.
  10. They pray regularly for the first-chair leader. This characteristic may be the one that most grabs my attention. These leaders not only work faithfully alongside their leader, but they intercede for him. They have his back in prayer.

What characteristics have marked the best second-chair leaders you’ve known?

This article originally appeared here.