The Foundation of Leadership

Posted by Jack Warren, Chase Oaks Chief of Staff, on May 05, 2022

The Foundation of Leadership

I recently attended a friend's birthday party. You know, a small gathering of friends and family who have been impacted by the person whose birthday it is. These types of parties are always fun as we eat and honor the friend together.

This, however, was no small party. This one was attended by several hundred people. We enjoyed a full spread of good food and listened to speakers who are well-known and highly accomplished. They all spoke about how this one man had personally impacted them through his friendship, his writings, his teaching, and his belief in them.

His beloved wife of 65 years was also honored. Their marriage has stayed strong through all of these years as they have moved, raised a family, launched churches, embarked upon huge ministry projects, and more.

This man’s name is Gene Getz, and I am honored to call him a friend.

So what makes a person a great leader like Gene? What helps them go through the ups and downs of life? What can serve as “true north”, providing steady guidance and direction for a lifetime? What provides the foundation of leadership that someone can reliably build upon? 

Character.

One of Gene Getz’s most popular books is “The Measure of a Man”, along with another popular book, “The Measure of a Woman.” In these books, he describes the elements of good character taken straight out of some of Paul’s writings in the Bible.

Early in Gene’s ministry, he knew that developing healthy leaders would be a key to ministry success. So he wrote this book for his leaders and for aspiring leaders everywhere.

I have heard speakers say, “Everything rises and falls based on leadership.” To that I would add, “And leadership rises and falls based on character.”

We have all seen amazingly gifted, super successful leaders disappear from view due to poor character and poor choices. Is there grace and forgiveness for them? Absolutely! Grace and forgiveness is available for all! But there is also great loss: loss of influence, loss of trust, loss of a role, and loss of credibility. Character either makes or breaks a leader.

So let me ask a few questions for us to ponder and hopefully discuss with a friend as we evaluate our own character.

  1. Do we have a “true north” understanding of character? See 1 Timothy and Titus.
  2. Do we have areas that need some development or attention?
  3. Do we have people in our lives that we talk with about our character gaps?
  4. Are we doing anything in private that would be devastating if it were known publicly?
  5. What is our kryptonite? That is, what is the one area in which we are most susceptible to compromise in our character? And what are we doing about that area?

The last thing I would wish for you is to experience loss of trust and credibility due to poor character. I want you to flourish as a single person, a spouse, a parent, a professional, a friend, and as a leader. And I hope you are able to enjoy the fruit of great choices and wise investments in each of these areas… maybe even at a birthday gathering with friends..

So I beg you, pay attention to the foundation that is your character. If you do, you can build a lifetime of “amazingness” upon it.


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