What makes someone a great leader?
According to a study from the University of Texas at San Antonio, the most important quality is confidence.
What Is Confidence?
It's important to note that confidence can sometimes be confused with arrogance (which implies a sense of superiority).
Arrogant, abusive leaders are ineffective.
Being confident is not about feeling as if you are better than others.
It's simply believing that you and your team can achieve the goal set forth.
On the other end of the spectrum, people with a low level of confidence, or feelings of inadequacy will find it difficult to lead.
This explains why the church is lacking when it comes to leadership. With 68 percent of men in the church struggling with pornography, these men are wrestling with feeling unworthy to lead.
Chris Ogden is the Adults pastor at Orlando First Baptist Church. He describes what these men are going through:
"For a lot of guys who have struggled in the area of sexuality, the lie becomes, 'This is just who I am. This cannot change; this will never go away, 'I might enjoy a week or a month (of sobriety) here or there but ultimately this is embedded in my soul, I can't get free of it.'"
The Conquer Series is a powerful cinematic study that is helping men conquer pornography and become better leaders in their families, their churches and among other men.
Ogden who leads men through the Conquer Series recounts:
"As the guys in our church walk through that, you could just see that flame of hope kind of rekindle, and going, 'I not only believe what they're saying is true, but I think it could be true for me.' And I think when that switch happens, that's when God unleashes the power in the guy's life."
As these men find freedom and deepen their relationship with God, they are rediscovering their confidence to lead.
What You Believe You Will Achieve
An authentic, strong belief that you will achieve success is contagious—infecting your team with confidence and causing productivity to soar.
The leadership study's author, Dina Krasikova, assistant professor of management at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) explains it this way:
"A factor in this is positive thinking. Leaders can imbue their subordinates with confidence and creativity just by setting an example themselves."
Often we struggle with having the confidence to lead well. Even Moses when he was before God at the burning bush felt inadequate to go before Pharaoh.
When God calls men to lead a Conquer Group they often feel the same way, especially if they've had their own struggle with pornography in the past.
In the recesses of his mind, Satan will remind a man of his past transgressions and tell him, "You are disqualified."
But in the kingdom, God reminds us that our struggle and His victory over it qualifies us.
We do not lead alone, as God reminded Moses, so he reminds you, "I will be with you."
There's a place for good people skills, too.
Building strong relationships with team members is key. These relationships should be built on trust, mutual respect and loyalty. This will cause employees to "go the extra mile for a leader without expecting anything in return."
A Conquer group is focused on building strong relationships through trust. At the beginning men complete a Covenant to Contend and a Memo of Understanding, committing to be there every week for themselves and the other men in the group while keeping anything shared confidential so that the group remains a safe place.
The Ultimate Leader
Jesus Christ provides the ultimate example of leadership. As our Savior, He was willing to give His life in exchange for all of ours.
"Greater love has no one than this: that a man lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:13).
And so despite any cost to ourselves, millions of people all around the world have taken up their cross to follow Him. How would others respond if you demonstrated this same type of love?
Leadership Can Help You in Everyday Life
It's not just those of us who have a "manager" title or leadership role at our jobs, or those in leadership in a church.
All of us are leaders in some capacity.
Whether it's head of the family, leader of a small group at church, or a leader among men, leadership is something we can all develop and benefit from. As well, there are often informal leaders at work and among groups of friends—the one everyone looks to for direction.
Krasikova makes it very plain: Leadership is not born or made. It's a question of becoming proficient at using qualities that everyone already has. "It's about how they use their skills once they get into that position," concludes Krasikova.
3 Keys to Being a Great Leader
To take what this study has shown and put it into practice requires only three things:
- Believe—really believe—your team can achieve its objective.
- Develop respectful, trusting relationships with your team.
- Be loyal to your team—continue to build trust as your team grows.
All of these crucial elements of leadership—believing in your team, respectful trusting relationships, and remaining loyal—are the foundation of success.
How is God challenging you to grow as a leader, or to step forward into a leadership role?
The most important things you need are already within you!
Just as with leadership at work and in life, the internal qualities are the critical things you must have... and it's what really qualifies you to be a leader.
"But the Lord said to Samuel, 'Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord look at the heart'" (1 Sam. 16:7).
The Conquer Series Leader's Guide is a new resource now available to help men lead a Conquer Group. It contains a breakdown of all the tools you will look at in your group as well as weekly tips, lesson highlights and reminders that will help you focus your group on key topics each week.
This article originally appeared at conquerseries.com.
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