What Does a Leader Look Like?

We are all leaders in some area of our lives. Parents, you’re the leaders of your family. Employers, you’re the leader of those who work for you. Teachers, you’re the leaders of those in your classroom. And you, individually, are the leader of your own life. In order to be an effective leader, you must attain the qualities of a leader. Psalm 72:1-7 reveals what some of these qualities are. So let’s consider some key words from that passage and use them as a guide for becoming more effective leaders.

Psalm 72 is one of the few Psalms that was not written by David. This one was written by his son, Solomon. In it Solomon asks God to provide certain qualities so that he might be an effective leader. Solomon’s prayer should be our prayer as well. So let’s look at three qualities we need to develop in order to be effective leaders.

The first quality is… Uncompromising Integrity. In verses 1 and 2 Solomon wrote… Give the king your justice, O God, and your righteousness to the royal son. May he judge your people with righteousness, and your poor with justice!” Simply put, Solomon is saying, “Make me good, so I can be good to others.” A basic principle of leadership is that you cannot give to others what you do not have. You can’t lead with righteousness unless you are righteous. You can’t influence others to be holy unless you yourself are holy.

If your life is like a cheap piece of furniture it may look good on the surface with a nice looking veneer but what is it like underneath _ on the inside? Eventually it’s what is on the inside that matters when the stresses of life show up.

Secondly, Solomon mentions… Fierce Compassion. Listen to his words from verse 4… May he defend the cause of the poor of the people, give deliverance to the children of the needy, and crush the oppressor!” Compassion is often misunderstood as being an emotion that one feels rather than an action that one takes.

We tend to think compassion is simply “weeping with those who weep,” but there is more to it than that. We need to help them in every way we can. Most people don’t associate compassion with words like “defend” and “save” and phrases like “crush the oppressor,” but that’s what compassion involves. In order to truly to be compassionate, you have to be willing to fight some battles; you have to be willing to crush the oppressor.

Thirdly, we need to develop… Enthusiastic Endurance. In verse 5 Solomon said… May they fear you while the sun endures, and as long as the moon, throughout all generations!” In verse 7 he adds this… In his days may the righteous flourish, and peace abound, till the moon be no more!”

When it comes to success, there’s a principle you can count on: The longer it takes to attain it, the longer you’ll retain it. Overnight successes often become overnight failures. A key to effective leadership is endurance…staying with the task as long as it takes. Success may not always come easily, but it comes eventually to those who endure.

Ever heard of Max Lucado? He has sold several millions books in recent years, but his first book never got published. In fact, it was rejected by 15 publishers. But he kept writing–and today he is a top selling Christian author.

“Let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9) In the 20 years I ministered in Rolling Prairie I used that verse as a heading for my ministry reports to remind me that the work I did last month doesn’t mean I am done _ it means I need to endure as long as it takes to get the things done that God has on His list for me.

Three key words: Integrity _ Compassion _ Endurance. To become an effective leader go all-out, with God’s help and for His glory, to make these words a description of your life.


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