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What’s the #1 Leadership Quality?

We could debate the number one leadership quality, until the cows come home. We could do this over and over again and we could really make a good point and push a good quality forward on probably 10 different fronts. Wouldn’t you think there’s probably 10 different things that you can make case for being the most important leadership quality of them all? As I think about this, I keep going back to servanthood. Now a lot of people don’t even put that on their list of leadership qualities and yet I think that it is the most important of them all. Because when you are a person who looks to serve another human being, you are a person who is looking within yourself. How can you create value for this person?

What is it within you, you can do to help? What do you have? What strength do you have? What materials do you have? What resources do you have? What ideas do you have to help this other person? How can I serve this other person? That’s what it is. That’s servanthood. That is a uniquely selfless task. All the others, there are many different important things to leadership, I believe, but there is only one that is totally pointed away from the leader. And see how that plays out at the end of the day.

Yeah. You can say you are a great leader as a parent. Well, you can make a kid, be a great kid. You can make them be a great kid. As long as you’re in my house, you will do this and this. Well, of course. Because you’re bigger than they are and you have all the money, of course, what a great leader while they are in your house.  But at the end of the day when they’re outside your house, hmm. All that leadership you poured into them, it didn’t really stick somehow. And so you can be a good leader in that way. You can be a good leader.

People say, “well, he’s a leader at work.” Really? Why is he the leader? Well, he’s a leader because he’s the supervisor. He’s the leader because he’s the supervisor? All you told me there is that he makes more money than everybody else and everybody kind of reports to him and he reports to somebody else. But you didn’t say he was a leader. A leader is somebody that when the chips are down, can stand up and say follow me and everybody will. A leader comes from within the ranks many times. When you see great teams, championship teams and they talk about how they had leadership that that came up from within the ranks.

We had leadership this year from our junior class. Some of our juniors, not even the seniors. We had a couple of juniors that showed such leadership. Well that leadership, that ability to, when the chips are down to get everybody to play together, to run together, to go together. That means when the chips weren’t down, those leaders, were valuable to those other people because you know you can scream at people and you can yell at people and you can make people do whatever you want to do and then when your back is turned, if the chips are down, they’re running away from you, but a leader, they will scoop you up and go the direction that you point. You may be bleeding out they point you over the hill and they are still following you. It is your heart. It is what you are. Is what you became to them. It is how you serve them. It is how valuable you become in their life. I believe servanthood is the number one leadership quality.