Charles Nobles once said, “first we make our habits, then our habits make us.” We are what we repeatedly do. And if we ever want excellence in our lives, we need to remember that it “is not an act, but a habit.” Some habits are good, others very bad and still some are of no value or eternal significance. However, to effectively impact the people around us and leave a lasting impression, we must develop good habits and do everything in our power to unlearn bad ones.
The following are habits of highly effective leaders:
Where the Lord leads, they follow
It is laughable to think that one can lead effectively without he being led. You may be the head of your home, the head of your church or the head of your company, but God is the head of you. A highly effective leader is humble enough to recognize and submit to the leading of the Lord. A leader who follows God where ever He leads, is bound to succeed. It was Benjamin Franklin who said, “He that cannot obey cannot command.” A highly effective leader follows God’s lead.
They seek excellence in everything they do
In his book, Excellence, Andreas J. Kostenberger says, “Excellence does not fall into anyone’s lap, it is the result of sustained, deliberate effort. Nobody wants to be a fine scholar but a terrible, or even mediocre, husband and father. Nobody wants to excel in scholarship but fail as a wife and mother. Neither should your calling as a mother or father, and wife or husband, necessarily induce you to engage in mediocre scholarship if called to an academic career.” Highly effective leaders seek excellence in everything you do.
They invest in their spiritual, physical and intellectual development
No matter your platform or success in life, ministry or business, if you want to stay effective or at the top of your game, it is important that you strategically invest in your spiritual, physical and intellectual development. You may have to spend a few extra dollars, but it will be worth it. Plan which conference you will attend during the year, how many books you will read in a month or whether to invest in a personal training or gym membership. The truth is that the best leaders are the best learners.
They hunger and thirst after righteousness, God, and the Holy Spirit’s endowment
Highly effective leaders have three things working powerfully to their advantage:
- their hunger for a life of purity and integrity
- their hunger to spend time with God
- their hunger for the anointing of God’s Spirit
These three go and in hand. One cannot stand without the others. Integrity is, if not the main thing in leading or influencing others, than one of the most important ones. Highly effective leaders pursue God relentlessly. They are not too busy for God and not busy with God. A. W. Tozer said, “Modern civilization is so complex as to make the devotional life all but impossible. It wears us out by multiplying distractions and beats us down by destroying our solitude, where otherwise we might drink and renew our strength before going out to face the world again.” There is so much one can do in his own strength and power, but there is much more he can through the ability that comes from the anointing of the Holy Spirit.
They seek and support deep and meaningful friendships and fellowships outside the home
Highly effective leaders are not lone-rangers. They actively seek meaningful friendships. They seek to take their relationships beyond the shallow and superficial, into deep, long-lasting and life changing experiences. They treasure the friendships they have, nurture them and invest in them. Their goal is not to use friendships to a selfish advantage, but cultivate them for mutual encouragement. They are open, transparent and forthcoming with these friends.
They prioritize for valuable family time
Effective leaders understand that their very first priority is to their families. You can win the world for Jesus, but if you are not winning your family for him, you might want to reconsider a few things. Effective leaders know when to stop working (they don’t bring work home), to take part in the life of the family. Special dates, special trips, special occasions – they are there, because they’ve learned to prioritize. That’s how you save the world – you save it as you are saving yours.
Check out The 7 Habits of Effective Christians