Over the past several days I have been sharing four character qualities every leader should have. As I’ve stated before, this is not a complete list but it is a place to start. You can go back and read the first three qualities by following the links: Know Who You Are, Accept Responsibility, and Set Priorities. Today we will conclude this series by looking at the fourth quality; Seeing the Big Picture.
Four Character Qualities of a Leader
A big problem many leaders can easily get stuck in is getting overwhelmed with the daily “urgent” tasks of life. Too many times a leader will allow the daily stressers and task to distract them from the overall purpose of the organization. It is so easy to get trapped into this without even knowing it. I was talking with one leader a few weeks ago; they were struggling with meeting the demands of other staff members about planning extra work activities (activities in themselves were not bad – the activities could actually build more trust in the organization). The problem is that the leader was getting stressed out about planning activities that people would like while losing focus on the Big Picture. So that’s what I asked them; “Is your job, as the head of this organization, to plan the social calendar for your staff.” That one question was able to bring clarity and focus back to the leader so they could get back on track. And that is our last quality every leader should have:
Quality 4 – Stay Focused on the Big Picture
“What am I doing today that is benefiting the kingdom!”
Col. 3:1-2 (NASB-U)
Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.
What is your Big Picture; what do you and your organization hope to accomplish? It might be stated in a purpose statements or vision statement; but ultimately there is a central theme that your organization what’s to accomplish. Even in a family, there is a BIG PICTURE of life to stay focused on. As families we want to launch our children into adulthood with success. To do so we need to keep track of the BIG PICTURE even though there will be small items everyday that can easily distract us. Everyday as parents we deal with Homework; Wardrobe Malfunctions; Sports and Music schedules; Doctor and Dentist apt.; Lost Phones, retainers, homework, library books, hair brushes, or whatever… The point is that everyday there are countless life stressers in a family that are calling for our attention – and we need to give them our attention – but we can end up getting sucked into these small items and they will take our focus off of the big picture; Launching our Kids into Adulthood with Success.
As parents, it would be easy to rescue and resolve all of the conflict within our child’s life; however, that is not our Big Picture. And when we do that (own our kids responsibilities) we actually harm their formation into adulthood. Keep the Big Picture in front of you and keep working toward it as you manage the daily stress.
Consider what Moses did; he lived by faith, he endured hardship and he left Egypt. Do you have any hardship in your life? Sure you do; we all do. We all have hardship and stress in our life. The important thing to remember is that we need to keep our focus on the Big Picture, our life purpose, our mission.
Hebrews 11:27 (NASB-U)
By faith he (Moses) left Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured, as seeing Him who is unseen.
Hebrews 12:2 (NASB-U)
fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Another person who had to keep the BIG PICTURE in focus was Jesus, He endured the cross, the shame and the suffering; knowing that He would rescue us and again sit at the right hand of His Father.
Think about this; each of these qualities that I’ve listed build on each other. Knowing who you are (and who you are not) is basic in leadership. Then, as we grow in our leadership we learn to accept more responsibility. As we take on more responsibility we need to learn to set priorities while staying focused on the Big Picture.
I hope this series on the 4 character qualities of a leader has helped you; if it has, please pass it on.