Many of you have great influence—even if you aren’t in official positions of leadership. So we’re going to post a series of blogs on the subject. Here is the first:

5 Unexpected Qualities of Effective Leadership

1.    Accept Failure
This is key to survival:) We need to recognize from the beginning that sometimes we will fail. Otherwise we’ll freeze when its time to risk trying new things. It will also take a long time to recover from setbacks. We also need to be comfortable with the failure of others if we want to create an environment of collaboration and teamwork.

2.    Control Fear
People don’t want the captain of the ship to freak out at the storm clouds! Your calm, organized response helps others to focus on what needs to be done. More importantly, it helps them to return to a position of faith and confidence in God.

3.    Control Anger
If you react in impatience or anger, you multiply a bad situation rather than manage it. In addition, you create insecurity in all the people around you.

4.    Learn Grace
Kindness is your most powerful team-building and recruiting tool. A recent study determined that the most important aspect of first impression is personal warmth. When people are deciding whether or not to follow you, they are subconsciously asking:
Can I trust you? (i.e. Are you safe?)
Can I respect you? (i.e. Are you worthy to lead me?)

5.    Listen for God
Make seeking God your very highest priority—spending lots of individual, personal time listening to God and responding to what He says to you. As you gently share that with those you lead, they can begin to see God’s bigger picture. Then let’s make sure you’re also alert to God speaking to you through them.

By now you may have noticed how closely leadership traits are related to the fruit of the Spirit. We grow as leaders when we grow in His patience, kindness, gentleness and self-control; and that happens when we’re full of faith.