Core Competencies Of Leadership

I write about leadership quite often here on my blog, only because I believe there is a large, gaping hole in leadership in churches, non-profits, government, and corporations. If only we would have men and women step up and be leaders, things would be quite different in all the domains I listed above. Below I list some core competencies of leadership that you might not have thought of.


If you are a leader, you must lead with intensity. You must have a whatever it takes attitude. If something needs to be done, you’ll do it, and you’ll do it well. If that means staying late, you’ll do it without complaint or trying to bug out early the next day. If you need something, and it’s in the back of a 26′ UHaul, then you will unload it in the rain to get what you need.

You’re relentless about the details and you operate with urgency, because you know what is at stake. After all, this is not a hobby, or a hamburger stand…this is about the kingdom.


To be a good leader, you have to be a coupon cutter. Maybe not literally. You better realize that you cannot purchase your way out of a problem, and you better be willing to plan, wait and come up with creative solutions. One of your greatest assets is people and time…because when these things come together, you can get more done with less money. It’s often poor planning that leads to rushed jobs.

This doesn’t mean that you are cheap, stingy or don’t care about excellence. It’s quite the contrary. But realize that throwing money at unnecessary things doesn’t make a kingdom difference.


In order to be an effective leader, you’ve got to be aware of what’s going on.

If someone were to ask you about the last movie you saw and you say “Stripes,” then that’s not a good sign. If your email address still has @AOL in it(read this article), then you’re not really relevant. Leaders have to keep up with the times. Like the men of Issachar (1 Chronicles 12:32), you need to understand the world in which we live.

Being aware isn’t limited to what’s coming out of New York or Hollywood either. You need know what’s going on in your town and in your community. Here’s some questions to test your cultural awareness.

• What’s the last movie you’ve seen?
• What’s the last book you’ve read?
• Who are the movers and shakers in your town?
• Who is the mayor of [Your city/town]?
• What new businesses or restaurants are coming to town?
• What are the big needs in your community?
• What big events happen in your community?


If you’re going to lead, you better have a little bit of MacGyver in you. MacGyver was a guy who could build a bomb out of some gum and a shoe. And that’s probably easy compared to some of the things that you’ll need to pull off as a leader. MacGyver’s are innovative when it comes to problem solving. They realize that they cannot purchase their way out of a problem, and that most problems have creative solutions that lie under the service. Make sure you carry around a roll of duct tape with you just to be on the safe side.


I can’t tell you the number of times I have heard  Rick Warren make that statement over and over. You’re in a position of leadership, but you haven’t arrived. You’re teachable. You appreciate crave feedback because you want to keep getting better. You will not settle for ordinary or good enough, but you’ll constantly evaluate so you can do things better. You have to be skilled to work here. While we’re all learning, we don’t have time to start with pre-k. You need people with skills to match their wills…raw passion is a plus, but it’s usually not enough.

Do you ask for feedback? Do you have post-event meetings to capture feedback? Are you willing to hear the last 10%?


Perhaps my favorite metaphor of what it means to be a great leader is the special forces. These are highly trained, highly committed individuals who are sold out to the mission. They are the best of the best.They accomplish the mission by working together…they have each others backs and they are loyal to one another. They do not leave people behind. They are dependable. You know you can count on these teams to get the job done.

They keep the mission, and most importantly, the people that the mission affects in mind. They do not allow things to sidetrack them from that mission.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Ben Curry

    Wow,I’m craving more so I can do better.Awesome