One Trait All Great Leaders Have

LeadershipI’ve been thinking about leadership a lot lately.

It’s probably because of the uncertainty in my life, as well as the uncertainty of what lies ahead for my church.

My wife and I just sold our home in the suburbs and moved into the heart of downtown in one of the largest cities in the country. We are also in the process of trying to buy a building downtown for my office and shifting the focus of my law practice.

My church, which was birthed in a movie theater a few years ago with about 40 people, is now pushing 200 on Sunday mornings, and we are trying to buy a building downtown and converting it to a church.

In both situations, the future is unknown and uncertain. I can say that I feel like the Lord is leading me to move dowtown, and my pastor can say the same about the path of the church, but regardless of how sure we may feel, there is always uncertainty when it comes to the future.

Given this uncertainty, the most important factor for the people involved–whether it be the people who work in my law office (and my wife), or, my church’s leadership team and church members–is leadership.

In times of stability and certainty, organizations can get by with managers. In times of change and uncertainty, organizations need leaders. When the choices are clear and the risk is low, it does not take great leadership to forge a path ahead. It is when the path ahead is not certain and the stakes are high that leadership is needed and organizations move to the next level or falter on the steps of opportunity.

When God called Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, Moses wasn’t sure the people would follow him or what lay ahead once he led them out of Egypt. See Exodus 3:7-11. He was leading into uncertainty. But he forged ahead in humility, trusting God was leading Him, and he became one of the greatest leaders in history.

The one trait all great leaders must have is the ability to lead into uncertainty. Without it, leaders are merely managers. GS

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