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Leaders, he says, have character, perspective, courage & favor


GLORIETA, N.M. (BP)–Character, perspective, courage and favor describe the four primary colors of a healthy and effective leader, according to leadership specialist Tim Elmore.

Speaking to college students during Collegiate Week at Glorieta (N.M.), a LifeWay Conference Center, Elmore, vice president of leadership development for Equip Ministries in Atlanta, said Jesus Christ personified all these traits.

Character is the infrastructure for leadership, Elmore said. It is based on the leader’s backbone, his discipline and responsibility, his inward strength and what is in him that enables him to stand up.

“Character is what enables the leader to do what is right, even when it is difficult,” Elmore said. “It all begins with character because leadership is based on trust.”

Character, Elmore said, communicates credibility, harnesses respect, creates consistency and earns trust.

“Perspective enables a leader to see and understand what must happen to reach the target,” Elmore said of the second facet of leadership.

“Jesus began his training of the 12 by working on their perspective. He worked on their visions and how they saw life,” Elmore said. “Jesus knew if he could get them to think differently, he could get them to act differently.

“With only character and perspective, a leader may still lack action,” Elmore noted. “The only measure of what you believe is what you do. Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage. …

“Courage enables the leader to initiate and take risks to step out toward the goal,” Elmore said of the third facet of leadership.

He gave the students a list of six things to do when they returned to their college campuses to help develop courage:

First, he said, attempt something each week that you couldn’t possibly pull off without God. Then invite accountability over the commitments and decisions you’ve made. Third, give an all-out commitment to a good habit for a set time. Interview a courageous person about the source of their courage. Do the thing you fear the most. Finally, he said, force yourself to be a decision-maker and responsibility-taker.

Favor, the fourth color of leadership, “enables the leader to attract and empower others to join him in the cause,” Elmore said.

Listing five foundational ideas about leadership, Elmore said that true leadership:

— is not dependent upon conferred authority, titles, positions or fame.

— can occur whenever a need emerges that sparks passion within someone.

— may take on a variety of methods, styles and appearances because the outcome is what is most important to them.

— works toward a breakthrough of impact or achievement.

— occurs when one acts upon his or her vision of a preferred future and then mobilizes others to join them in the cause.

“Most of you in this room have the potential to be bold, biblical leaders,” Elmore said. “Go back to your campus and find your passion, something that gets you really excited and see what you can do about it.”

Collegiate Week was sponsored by the National Collegiate Ministries Department of LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.
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  • Polly House