What is the key quality to leadership? I am sure you could come up with the some others, but I would submit to you that the number one quality is character and the second is a close second-CONSISTENCY! John C. Maxwell writes, “Character creates consistency, and if your people know what they can expect from you, they will continue to look to you for leadership.” While there are good, godly reasons to move/change, loads of leaders never reach certain, sacred levels of influence that only come by staying put. Those who are truly leaders are not those with temporary-at-best titles, positions, or reserved parking spots, but those who CHOOSE to…

  1. Stay consistent in character/discipline while others are fickle and inconsistent.
  2. Stay forward-leaning in decisions while others get stuck in past nostalgia or present convenience.
  3. Stay motivated by principles while others are sidelined by ebbing or flowing passions.
  4. Stay willing to take calculated risks while other play it safe.
  5. Stay sweet and open relationally while others close off in bitter or cynical indifference.
  6. Stay in touch with/ready to partner with the next generation while others only criticize and marginalize them
  7. Stay a team player while others consolidate power.
  8. Stay in shape physically while others digress into atrophy through poor diet and delinquent exercise.
  9. Stay vigilant to personal weaknesses while others inevitably let down their guard in overconfidence.
  10. Stay connected vertically to their Creator while others become distracted horizontally by creature comforts.
  11. Stay engaged in insatiable, personal growth while others rest upon the laurels of what they already known and have accomplished.
  12. Stay committed to mutually encouraging and challenging community while others retreat into customized, convenient isolation.
  13. Stay in a rich range of books while others veg out with mind-numbing media.
  14. Stay accountable to those willing to tell them when they are wrong while others surround themselves with self-serving sycophants who tell them what they want to hear.
  15. Stay engaged in peer-to-peer relationships while others prefer to only invest in those with ego-inflating subordinates.
  16. Stay above reproach no matter the personal cost while others cut every corner of integrity possible while still keeping up appearances.
  17. Stay with the God-assigned mission during the lean times of ineffectiveness while others quickly bail out of a sense of pragmatism.

Far too many of us leak influence because we, like the “others” listed above, shift gears when we should stick by the stuff. Lose the wanderlust tendencies. Decide to see through your calling and character. Don’t let anyone-including yourself-underestimate what one person determined to stay in the place assigned by heaven itself can accomplish/impact over the long haul.

As Tony Gaskins asserts, “Consistency is the key! If you can’t be consistent, then you can’t be anything.” And that anything definitely includes leaders. Anybody can be consistent; therefore anybody can be a leader. So it is not a matter of “can” or “can’t” in leadership. It is all about our “will” or “won’t” in dependability. That breathes fresh hope into my leadership ceiling; it also brings intensifying conviction of where I can be a better steward with my present influence. Be a known commodity. A commodity of predictable-as-death-and-taxes kind of steadiness that other can regularly reference no matter how much the world shifts and struggles. As Eugene Peterson so wisely advocates for in his classic volume on this subject, we need “long obedience in the same direction, discipleship in an instant society.” For only when we are disciples with staying power will others consistently follow us.

Photo by Maria Teneva on Unsplash