Friday, September 30, 2016

Leadership Lessons Series: Leadership Compass

Are you a good leader? Are you a great leader? You might be the leader of an international ministry. You may have turned a failing ministry around. Maybe you are just a volunteer leader without much experience. Maybe you have led 25 people to baptism in the last year. Perhaps you have never led anyone to baptism. No matter, these are not the things that define great leaders!

As Jesus exemplified throughout his time on earth, being a great leader has nothing to do with results! In John 13 Jesus gives his disciples their last lesson in leadership before his death. Here we find the story of Jesus taking on the role of a servant and washing all the disciple’s feet. The lesson Jesus wanted them to remember was humility. All throughout scripture, humility is prized above all other leadership characteristics. When Jesus chose his disciples, he chose men of lowly status whom were not proud, but humble.

Humility entails many characteristics. The most important is an approachable, learning attitude. The polar opposite of humility is pride or arrogance. An attitude of superiority and knowing everything is incompatible with humility. Jesus was one of the greatest teachers to ever live. Yet he did not know everything and even admitted so. He said in Matthew 24:36 that he did not know the day nor the hour of his return to earth. Jesus was humble and displayed this through his dependence on his Father.

John F. Kennedy said, “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” A great leader is one who is continually learning to be better and do better! Specifically, a great leader is one who learns to lead well. Learning leadership skills is an important factor to learning to lead well. More importantly, learning what areas of leadership you can grow in is critical.
Do you know what areas of your leadership skills have room for growth? The best way to determine the answer to this question is with a leadership assessment.

There are many leadership assessments out there. My favorite is the Leadership Compass Self-Assessment. I like it for several reasons. First of all, there are only four categories. Additionally, rather than good or bad leadership skills, every person is seen as capable of growing in each direction. And perhaps the best reason, it is based on the directions of a compass! It’s as if it was made for outdoor enthusiasts!

The Leadership Compass draws from a book called the Four-Fold Way. The four directions in the book are described as warrior (north), healer (south), teacher (west), and visionary (east). The actual assessment uses more 21st century friendly categories. All directions have profound strengths and potential weaknesses, and each direction has a primary "human resource," including power (north), love (south), wisdom (west), and vision (east), as well as primary struggles, associated with loss or difficulty. Each person can access the gifts associated with each direction. So which directions do you tend toward? Try it out for yourself or your ministry team!

Click Here to view the Leadership Compass Self-Assessment


Kennedy, John F. "Leadership Quotes." BrainyQuote. Accessed September 03, 2016.

Written By David F Garner