Leadership Lesson 12: Lead with Character


"You are the light of the world...let your light shine before others so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven."
~ Matthew 5:14, 16

In this leadership lesson I would like to talk about the key to success for a leader – character. The world desperately needs great leaders – men and women who will lead the battle for character, virtue, and righteousness. We need leaders who will not be distracted by the rights and lefts but will focus instead on the rights and wrongs of the issues we face today.

Great leaders are committed to great character.

I am talking about who we really are on the inside – the core of our being. Our character ultimately has everything to do with how successfully we impact the world.

John Quincy Adams said it doesn't matter whether a man is rich; honor and moral character are of more regard. Thomas A'Kempis expressed it this way:

"Always have something deeper on the inside."

Some have suggested that character is doing what is right when no one is looking. I believe it is doing what is right. Character matters!

So how does one acquire great character?

I believe it begins with meeting the One who transforms characters into Godly character. Jesus Christ plants the seeds of great character in the salvation experience. It then requires walking daily according to Christ’s teachings on ethics and morality, being guided by a power greater than ourselves. Character is built by faithful, consistent, godly thinking and making right decisions. Do you want to develop character? Here are some helpful scripture passages:

  • Matthew 5, 6, 7 ~ All three of these chapters deal with the issue of the heart change (our character)
  • Romans 12:2 ~ Be transformed by the renewing of our inner being (a character change)
  • I Samuel 16:7 ~ Man looks at the outward, but God looks at the heart (God is concerned about what's inside)
  • Proverbs 4:23 ~ Watch over your heart with all diligence.

Leader, are you developing character so you can lead effectively? The success of your mission may be hindered if it is not guided by virtuous, godly character!