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A Quality All Great Leaders Possess

Written by Chuck Olson

Great leaders inspire.

Some leaders inspire through acts of uncommon courage. Others through selfless sacrifice. And still others through the quiet embodiment of virtue and nobility.

And if you look closely enough, you will discover that the inspirational impact of these leaders is this: They have a track record of making decisions–often at great risk–that match the beliefs that have set up shop deep within them.


Leaders have a track record of making decisions that match the beliefs that have set up shop deep within them


These leaders stir the hopes of those who live in the orbit of their influence. They ignite dreams. They accelerate action.

Many of these leaders have the gifting to curate and craft words that powerfully yet succinctly capture the essence of what it means to lead out of the core of who they are. What it means to lead from the inside out. What it means to lead with your life.

As a lifelong collector of these kind of statements, allow me to billboard a handful of them for your consideration, but most of all, your inspiration.

To become a leader worth following, you must give time and attention to the inner man. To leave a legacy that goes beyond accomplishment alone, a leader must devote himself to matters of the heart.

         –Andy Stanley                    

Great spiritual leaders bless people. Depending on their sphere of influence, the blessing may extend to those in their organization, their spiritual tribe, a region, an entire nation, the whole human race—whoever populates their leadership constellation. Great spiritual leaders are not just given to great issues; they are given to people. In the end, this capacity to bless is the deciding category that elevates them to greatness in spiritual leadership. The spiritual enterprise is about enhancing peoples’ lives. God is in the people business.

         –Reggie McNeal

Leading is very likely the most costly thing you will ever do. And the chances are very good that it will never bring you riches or fame or praise in exchange for your great sacrifices. But if you want to love God and others, and if you long to live your life now for the sake of eternity, then there is nothing better than being a leader.

         –Dan Allender

Our activity for God can only properly flow from a life with God. We cannot give what we do not possess.

         –Peter Scazerro

Effective Christian leadership is sustained by surrender. When a Christian leader stops yielding to God, he or she has ceased to be a Christian leader. It’s really quite simple. When a leader gets to a point at which he or she trusts more in skills, abilities, or experiences to accomplish God’s assignments, then he has just walked away from the place of God’s blessing and His enabling power.

         –Crawford Loritts

If the world is to hear the church’s voice today, leaders are needed who are authoritative, spiritual, and sacrificial. Authoritative, because people desire reliable leaders who know where they are going and are confident of getting there. Spiritual, because without a strong relationship to God, even the most attractive and competent person cannot lead people to God. Sacrificial, because this trait follows the model of Jesus, who gave Himself for the whole world and who calls us to follow in His steps.

         –J. Oswald Sanders

For a leader to take time to turn aside and look is no small thing. In the rush of normal life, we often blow right past the place where God is creating a stir to get our attention. But at the heart of spiritual leadership is the capacity to notice the activity of God so we can join him in it. Amid the welter of possible distractions, an essential discipline for leaders is to craft times of quiet in which we allow God to show us those things that we might otherwise miss.

         –Ruth Haley Barton

God does not ask leaders to dream big dreams for him or to solve the problems that confront them. He asks leaders to walk with him so intimately that, when he reveals what is on his agenda, they will immediately adjust their lives to his will and the results will bring glory to God.

         –Henry and Richard Blackaby


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Chuck Olson

As founder and president of Lead With Your Life, Dr. Chuck Olson is passionate about inspiring, resourcing and equipping Kingdom leaders to lead from the inside out.  To lead, not with the external shell of positions, achievements or titles, but from an internal commitment to a deep, abiding and transparent relationship with Jesus. Serving as a pastor and leadership coach for over forty years, Chuck has a track record of building these truths deep into the lives of both ministry and marketplace leaders.

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