20 Things Lousy Leaders Do—And 20 Things Great Leaders Do Instead

(Unsplash/Darren Coleshill)

I have served with some great leaders and watched how they lead. I have also served with some lousy leaders and watched how they lead.

I would like to think I have been a decent leader at times. And I know there have been times when I was severely lacking as a leader. Looking back, I can see what I did that helped me lead well and I can also see the things that hurt my leadership.

No matter your past experiences, the important thing as a leader is to learn from what you have observed in others (and yourself) and try to become a better leader through it.

Today, I was reflecting back on some of the things I have observed through the years and thought I'd put some of them in writing. My prayer is that we will be become better leaders as we take a few minutes to contemplate these.

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20 Things Lousy Leaders Do

1. Lousy leaders try to lead by position rather than relationship.

2. Lousy leaders have a "my way or the highway" attitude.

3. Lousy leaders look past you rather than at you.

4. Lousy leaders don't express gratitude.

5. Lousy leaders put policies before people.

6. Lousy leaders sit in the green room instead of connecting with people.

7. Lousy leaders use people to build the ministry rather than using the ministry to build people.

8. Lousy leaders play favorites.

9. Lousy leaders put themselves in the spotlight.

10. Lousy leaders go with their own ideas all the time ... even when there are better ideas on the table.

11. Lousy leaders try to make themselves bigger by making others smaller.

12. Lousy leaders don't take a personal interest in their team members.

13. Lousy leaders are always negative.

14. Lousy leaders don't offer encouragement.

15. Lousy leaders micromanage.

16. Lousy leaders hate change and won't take risks.

17. Lousy leaders surround themselves with people who think just like they do to ensure control.

18. Lousy leaders have to protect their control at all times.

19. Lousy leaders point fingers.

20. Lousy leaders don't provide feedback to team members that will help them grow.

20 Things Great Leaders Do

1. Great leaders lead by example.

2. Great leaders shoulder the blame when things go wrong.

3. Great leaders give away the credit for the wins.

4. Great leaders lead by serving.

5. Great leaders keep their word.

6. Great leaders keep a positive attitude in the midst of adversity.

7. Great leaders never stop growing and learning.

8. Great leaders remember to say "thank you."

9. Great leaders have a clear vision and lead people to it.

10. Great leaders ask great questions.

11. Great leaders spend as much time listening as they do talking.

12. Great leaders have a passion that attracts others.

13. Great leaders are confident in God's call on their life.

14. Great leaders make those around them better.

15. Great leaders are loyal.

16. Great leaders lead by encouragement.

17. Great leaders make themselves accountable to others.

18. Great leaders aren't satisfied with the status quo.

19. Great leaders find the best idea whether it's theirs or not.

20. Great leaders know how to lead change well.

Your turn. What are some other things you've observed or experienced that great and lousy leaders do?  Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.

Dale Hudson has been in children's ministry for over 27 years. He is the director of children's ministry at Christ Fellowship Church in south Florida. Christ Fellowship has nine campuses and ministers to over 25,000 people on weekends. Dale leads a children's ministry staff team of over 70 and a volunteer team of over 2,600. He has authored 100 Best Ideas to Turbocharge Your Children's Ministry100 Best Ideas to Turbocharge Your Preschool MinistryChildren's Ministry in the 21st CenturySunday School That Worksthe churchleaders.com Top 100 book, and If Disney Ran Your Children's Ministry.

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