Character Over Competence in Deciding on and Developing Leaders

Younger leaders have been passionately challenged with messages like: Don’t peak too soon. Your platform must not be bigger than the person you are becoming. Don’t let your gifting outpace your integrity. The messages are wise, good, and true. We must declare messages about the importance of character to younger leaders AND we must design […]

Ministry Leaders—Pay Careful Attention to Your Life

Last week I led a session on the importance of guarding our lives and our teaching with our Mariners Church pastors at our annual pastor retreat. Together we walked through a section of the apostle Paul’s challenge to Timothy (I Timothy 4:11-16). As Paul reminded Timothy of Timothy’s past, the moment when he became a […]

3 Ways We Parents Wrongly Teach Kids to Earn God’s Approval

As parents we hate to see our kids live with the burden of trying to gain approval. Or worrying if they are going to be accepted by their looks, their dress, their performance. Or struggling with the pain of wondering if others will love and accept them. As Christian parents we know we have a […]

Without Credibility It Is Impossible to Lead

A few weeks ago, my good friends Kevin Peck and Josh Patterson asked me to lead a session for a group of ministry leaders they are coaching. During the coaching session, we spent some time talking about the importance of credibility in leadership. Years ago, in the classic work The Leadership Challenge, Kouzes and Posner […]

Pressure Exposes and Develops Character and Competence

When a ministry or organization experiences growth there is simultaneously an exposing and developing of character and competence. The pressure of caring well for more people, the stress of new problems, and the weight of new decisions both exposes and develops. In the same way, when a ministry or organization experiences a challenging season there […]

Character First, But Is Chemistry or Competence Next?

Several years ago William Vanderbloemen and I had a conversation where he asked me to force-rank important qualities to consider when bringing a new person on the team. Many leaders have used three our four C’s as a helpful alliterated tool to describe essential characteristics when interviewing potential team members. You have likely heard the […]

4 Practical Reasons Character Must Trump Competence

When Jethro confronted Moses for foolishly attempting to do his work alone, he encouraged Moses to develop leaders, to build a team of people around him. According to Exodus 18:21, those Moses invited to join him were to be: Able God-fearing Trustworthy Hating a bribe Look at the list above and notice which characteristics speak […]

4 Types of People Leaders Must Not Listen To

Wise leaders listen to wise people. Because the people we listen to impact our decisions, our attitudes, and our perceptions, it is critical that we listen to the right people. A leader who listens to the wrong people is just as foolish as a leader who doesn’t listen at all. Here are four types of […]

What is the Return on Character? (An Interview With Author Dr. Fred Kiel)

People long for their leaders to be men and women of character, to be people of integrity. Researchers and leadership authors continually contend that the best leaders are those who love and care for those they lead. But does character impact results? Is there a return on character? People often measure ROI (return on investment), […]

Five Necessary Character Traits for Handling Criticism Well

Elbert Hubbard quipped, “To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.” Because leaders cannot afford to do nothing or say nothing, being criticized comes with the territory of being a leader. In leadership, affirmation today does not mean affirmation tomorrow. In many ways leaders face the same volatility as coaches who can, within […]