“Joseph, was one example of a leader with character, he allowed his character to influence his perspective in leadership. How a leader deals with the circumstances of life tells you many things about his character”.
We have so far listed 9 Characteristics of a Value Based Leader. If you have missed out on any they are as follows: Value Based Leaders Initiate Change; Value Based Leaders have a sense of divine timing, Value Based Leaders know and focus on what is important; Value Based Leaders have vision; Value Based Leaders have commitment; Value Based Leaders connect with people.; Value Based Leaders have a positive mental attitude; Value Based Leaders are learners. To enjoy this series just look for the last two editions and be on the same page with us. Don’t forget Leadership is evolution of value! It is value based, and it evolves. People will freely follow you because you have they value they need in you.
We will conclude the Characteristics of a value based leaders with those listed below.
Value Based Leaders have character and integrity. Skill will open door for you, but character will keep you in. Character and convictions are fundamentals for leaders. Norman Schwarzkopf says, “Leadership is potent combination of character and strategy. But if you must be without one, be without strategy.”
Joseph, was one example of a leader with character, he allowed his character to influence his perspective in leadership. He refused to allow his emotion and sentiment to becloud his judgement when he the opportunity to punish his brothers for their earlier sins against him, he said “You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.” Joseph exhibited a rare, godly perspective in leadership. When most of us would be tempted to dish out a strong vengeance in similar circumstances. Joseph was able to keep his perspective positive because he has spent years in God’s character-building course, therefore he could maintain a proper perspective and use his power to bless his brothers rather than curse them.
I have heard of, and seen leaders who after taken up the mantle of office destroyed all legacies created by their predecessor, just to exact vengeance; I have seen and heard of leaders who also “dealt” with all their enemies and their children because the so called enemy has one time debarred them from getting to the position of authority in the past; or committed an offence sometime in the past. How a leader deals with the circumstances of life tells you many things about his character? Crisis doesn’t necessarily make character, but it certainly does reveal it. Adversity is a crossroads that make a person choose one of two paths: character or compromise. Every time he chooses character, he becomes stronger, even if that choice brings negative consequences. The development of character is at the heart of our development as leaders. As leaders, we often put styles ahead of substance. We focus on charisma but neglect character. We need to make these axioms our motto as leaders
- We are given our gifts, but we must develop our character
- Our character earns the trust of others
- Only good character gives lasting success with people
- Sound character communicates credibility and consistency
- Our character colours our perspective
- Ability may get you to the top, but it takes character to keep you there
- We cannot rise above the limitations of our character.
Daniel paints right picture of a leader with character. To most of our leaders, they often question the rationale behind “probing them behind the scene”. There has been augment that on whether the private life of a leader truly impact his public life. For me there is no argument about it, because what is the difference between the private and the public life of a leader, since his leadership is beyond limit. Daniel illustrates why character plays such vital role. Imagine his character and his disciplined life as a captive in a foreign land, during his times of testing under the kings of Babylon.
- His Diets: He would not compromise on ritually unclean foods, but ate only vegetables
- His Motives: He didn’t take credit for interpreting dreams, but glorified God instead
- His Honesty: He spoke the truth to authorities regardless of its unpopularity
- His Disciplines: He continued praying daily, even though it might cost him his life
- His Integrity: He had no interest in bribes and pay offs
- His convictions: He stayed committed to his friends and beliefs even as he rose through the ranks.
Let me reiterate again that how a leader deals with the circumstances of life tells you many things about his character. Character is the foundation on which a leader builds his or her life. It all begins with character, because leadership operates on the basis of trust. People will follow a leader only so far as the trust him or her. Character communicates credibility, harness respects, creates consistency, and earns trust.
Character is more than talk, because anyone can say that he has integrity, but action is the real indicator of character. Your character determines who you are and what you do. That is why we can never separate a leader’s character in private and public from his actions. If a leader’s action and intentions continually work against each other, look to his character to find out why.
Talent is a gift, but character is a choice. We have no control over a lot of things in life. We don’t get to choose our parents or the circumstances of our birth and upbringing. But we do choose our character. We create it each time we make choices.
Character brings lasting success with people. True leadership always involves others. Followers do not trust leaders whose character they know to be flawed, and they will not continue to follow them. Leaders cannot rise above the limitations of their character. Character will either limit or support a leader, depending on its strength. It will always determine whether a leader finishes well.
The greatest undoing of King Herod was his character. And just like King Herod we have overtime experienced such leadership in our country. However, there are lessons to be learnt here as well, as he portrays a negative example of a leader with character. Such leaders are driven by ego and he ended up doing a lot of things he ought not to do as a leader. What are these things? Reading through the story of Herod as recorded in the Acts of the Apostle chapter 12 verses 1-23 will reveal those things that Herod did to showcase his character flaws. They include the following:
- He maltreated his own citizens – unjustly ordered the arrests of Jewish believers in order to harass them. (v.1)
- He executed innocent people; he had James killed by sword, although he had committed no crime. (v.2)
- He made decisions based on popularity; when he saw it pleased the Jews to kill James, he had Peter arrested too. (v. 3)
- He acted irrationally in difficult times. He killed 16 guards who had been on duty at the time of Peter’s prison escape. (v. 19)
- He abhorred anger towards others. He remained angry toward outside ethnic groups and looked for ways to get even. (v. 20)
- He sought power out of insecurity. He enjoyed controlling others and especially loved having people at his mercy. (v. 20)
- He projected an infallible image. He loved wearing his royal garb and being worshiped. (v. 21, 22)
- He was blinded by his ego. He lived in an unreal world and couldn’t see how his ego sabotaged his leadership. (v. 23)
One major minus of a leader without character is sense of insecurity, which makes the ruthless and out of control. Compare Herod’s leadership with one time Nigeria military ruler under whose regime many renowned Nigerians were killed such as Ken Saro Wiwa and the Ogoni 8. Who had killer squad to harass eminent citizens, and there were no peace in the country until his demise.
There are quite a number of leaders today with such leadership records, in the church, in the community, even in the homes as parents. What manner of a leader are you? What is your character as a leader? To improve your character and build a solid foundation for your leadership, John Maxwell recommended the following:
- Search for the crack. Look at the major areas of your life. Identify where you are weak or have taken short cuts
- Look or patterns. Do any weaknesses remain? Patters can help you diagnose character flaws.
- Face the music. Character begins with you face your flaws and apologize to those you’ve wronged.
- Stay teachable and rebuild. Once you face your past, create a plan to build inward strength.
Value Based Leaders have the anointing of the spirit. The life of a value based leader is complex – involving head and heart, skills and competencies, character and spiritual values. Effective leadership is driven by inner motivation, and not outward incentives there could be, and there will be, desires for success, from impact and for recognition. But countless leaders testify that the intangible satisfactions matter more than the things they can measure on a spreadsheet.
See you Next Edition
07066724804, 08187191693, [email protected]