7 Qualities of Good Leadership

What makes a good leader?  Ask that question in your school and you might get as many answers as persons asked.  Which begs the question–Is leadership like the proverbial beauty?  Are the qualities of good leadership simply in the “eyes of the beholder?”

© 2010 USAF. Creative Commons. Click here for full citation (#16).

© 2010 USAF. Creative Commons. Click here for full citation (#16).

I recently discovered an interesting answer to the question What makes a good leader?  The question was put to a group of our military who were completing a tour of duty in Iraq.  The soldiers were rating different aspects of their military experience while serving their country on an extended deployment.

Here’s how the soldiers answered the question What Makes a Good Leader?  Think about the seven qualities as they apply to leadership in the Christian school:

1) Keep Cool Under Pressure

Good leaders did not allow tense situations to compromise mission or values; difficult times did not cause them to waver from their principles.

2) Clearly Explain Mission, Standards, and Priorities

Good leaders were transparent, always seeking to operate with shared vision and shared values.

3) Sees the Big Picture

Good leaders not only saw the big picture, they were able to provide context and perspective for their team members.

4) Makes Tough, Sound Decisions on Time

Good leaders make decisions that are good for the team, not necessarily good for any one individual on the team (or even good for the leader); these decisions are made timely so that adverse situations do not erode the team’s esprit de corps.

5) Adapts Quickly to New Situations

Good leaders model flexibility without abandoning dependability.

6) Gives Useful Feedback; Sets High Ethical Tone

Good leaders continually seek to edify their team while modeling character that is above reproach.

7) Is Positive, Encouraging, and Realistically Optimistic 

Seeks to uplift team members without resorting to over-hype or phony expectations.

So, what kind of leader are you?  Perhaps you see one or more of these qualities that you need to work to strengthen.  Now is the time to start; you never know when you might find yourself like these soldiers–deployed to a combat zone.  That is no place to discover a flaw in leadership!

Which one of the above traits do you see most lacking in Christian school leadership?  

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Edward is the founder and managing editor of Focus on Christian Education. He also serves as the Executive Director of the South Carolina Association of Christian Schools.