Thoughts From Dan
There is not a secret formula or magical 3-step process that graduates us into leaders. Innate characteristics, learned behaviors and honest-to-goodness hard work all contribute to making us strong and "followable." But there are several key characteristics that hold true with every great leader. I think strong leaders are those among us who strive daily to understand and strengthen these four dimensions of a balanced life:
Mental capacity: Strong leaders are good teachers, but all strong leaders are great learners. Leaders seek knowledge at every turn. They have an unquenchable thirst for learning that powers creativity and new thinking. Leaders read. Leaders write. Leaders research. Leaders learn.
Emotional focus: Leaders must be able to feel deeply, but also resort to reason and common sense when it's appropriate. Emotional strength allows us to treat others with honor, dignity and respect, and that's a leader worth following.
Physical fitness: An active lifestyle helps to create an active imagination and gives us the energy to keep a demanding schedule. It is true that a rolling stone gathers no moss, and most strong leaders I know are moss-free! Leaders exercise. Leaders rest. And leaders watch what they put in their bodies. Leaders I admire discipline themselves like great athletes, striving every day to get better, stronger and healthier along the way.
Spiritual growth: I think one of the most important qualities of a strong leader is their understanding of their own brokenness. To some, this might not sound much like "strength," but God's Word says that an awareness of our own weakness makes Him stronger, and at the end of the day, His strength will sustain us through any challenges He may lay before us.