What makes a man a great leader? Every now and then God calls a man to a task so big that few can equal the challenge. Above all else, these men are visionary. They see the world not so much as it is, but how it could be. They leave a crater, while at the same time making the world spin a little smoother. What makes these men tick? And importantly, how can you be one too? Here's an acrostic using the word "visionaries" to help you think through many of the most important attributes you will want to develop if you want to be not just good leader, but a great one.
Vision—More than anything else, great leaders are propelled by great dreams. They're pulled along by the grip of destiny. Invariably, the force of their personalities pull us along with them.
Innovation—Great leaders give the world "ideas" that change the existing order. They exude creativity and imagination. They embrace an uncertain future.
Sacrifice—Great leaders deny themselves for a greater good. They're so committed to their cause that they are willing to risk rejection.
Integrity—At their core, great leaders have unwavering character. A handshake still means everything to them. This inspires confidence.
Optimism—Great leaders possess a passion that touches that noble impulse in each of us. They inspire us to want to be part of something bigger than ourselves.
Never Give Up—Great leaders display unwavering belief in their mission. Against all odds, they show tenacity, perseverance and faithfulness to their call. Their motivation rests on deeply held principles, not opinion polls.
Ability—Great leaders possess special abilities. They are men of skill—whether inventor, philosopher, theologian, scientist, artist, writer, poet or preacher. They possess innate intelligence.
Relate to Others—Great leaders have empathy and love for people. Their people skills include compassion and listening. They relate to people from all walks of life.
Improbability—Great leaders never think they are. They are marked by a profound humility. The world would not pick them. And if in their own lifetimes they become great, they are the last ones to know.
Excellence—Great leaders demand excellence from themselves, which spurs us to be like them. Their striving for excellence is often confused with perfectionism.
Servant of Others—Great leaders are first godly men. Great Christian men do what they do to bring glory to God. They exist to serve their God by loving and serving others.
Patrick Morley is the founder of Man in the Mirror Ministries.
This article originally appeared at patrickmorley.com.
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