I came across an article today from Charisma entitled “7 Inspiring Leaders and the Traits That Made Them Great“. I was very disappointed with what I found.

Actually, I was more than disappointed. I was mad.

The traits the author shared were:

  • Vision
  • Problem-solving
  • Constant growth
  • Motivation and communication
  • Tenacity
  • Generosity of spirit
  • Comfortable in their own skin

Really? REALLY? Those are the traits that made these “inspiring leaders” “great”?

Hog wash.

Please understand, I do admire (some) of the men he mentioned, but I think this list is bogus. My beef isn’t with his list of names and if they’re truly inspirational, my issue is with this idea of greatness and this trait list.

Jesus clearly, CLEARLY stated:

“You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” – Matthew 20:25-28

Jesus said being great is being a servant.

Now, these guys may be servants. I know none of them personally, so I can’t say either way if they are or aren’t. However, Jesus’ words of achieving greatness did not actually make the above list. While the author mentions a similar trait concerning Jack Hayford, in terms of him being generous in spirit, it’s not the same as what Jesus said.


When will we stop measuring greatness by worldly, ungodly standards and actually listen to what Jesus said?

The kingdom we are first a part of is not of this world.

I get that we want to better ourselves and become better leaders. I get that the list above are good things for leaders to have/do/be.

But what I don’t get is why we’re still operating from an earthly perspective.

This isn’t the first time that I have seen lists like these in reference to leadership. I’ve heard teaching on being a great leader. I’ve read books on being a great leader. And more often than not, Jesus’ words are no where to be found.

This can’t be.

Can we stop glamorizing mere human beings? Can we just look to Jesus, who came to serve, not be served? And can we just imitate His leadership as much as possible?

You want to be a great leader? Serve. You want to be inspiring to others? Be their slave.

Those are Jesus’ words, not mine.

P.S. The book of Acts throws in another thing that set people a part from the rest and that was being filled with the Spirit. Yet, reliance on Holy Spirit wasn’t a point on this list either. But that, I suppose, is another post all together.