A NFL quarterback is the most leadership-intensive position in all of pro sports. In fact, 80% of 305 quarterbacks drafted since 1992 have flamed out. Prior to this year’s NFL Draft, The Ringer’s Michael Lombardi wrote an incredible article entitled “Seven Habits For Drafting A Highly Effective Quarterback.”
Lombardi’s concepts were drawn on years of working with Hall Of Fame coaches Bill Walsh and Bill Parcells. As I read Lombardi’s thoughts, I realized they provided an excellent framework for selecting a leader in a church, non-profit, business, education, or athletic organization.
The following are 7 Traits To Look For When Selecting A Leader For Your Church Or Organization:
- Proven Track Record Of Success – Lombardi called it a “Winning Pedigree”. The best indicator of future performance is past performance. Parcells wanted a quarterback with at least 30 starts with 23 or more of those being wins. This is an indicator they have faced adversity in the past. A proven track record also shows they know how to succeed and then how to handle that same success.
- Resilience – They must be mentally, emotionally, and physically tough. How does the leader deal with criticism and disappointment? A leader must bounce back quickly from failure and learn from it. Are they sickly? Do they miss a lot of work? Your best ability as a leader is your availability.
- Hard Work – The leader must set the standard in your organization for hard work. Basketball announcer and former coach Jeff Van Gundy says, “Your best player has to set a tone of intolerance for anything that gets in the way of winning.” Laziness, tardiness, and a lack of commitment are sure signs of future leadership failure.
- High Functional IQ – You cannot teach passion. Do they read books? Do they study to make themselves better? Are they doing things without being asked to increase their skill set or do they have to be pushed? Passivity is not an attractive leadership quality. Successful leaders become experts in their field of discipline.
- Natural Talent – Lombardi calls this “The Crib Factor.” For ministry positions, we would call this calling or anointing. Are they born with natural leadership giftedness? Do they have great instincts, hunger, people skills and ambition.
- Body Language – Most communication is non-verbal. Do they have high-energy? Many leaders look for people who walk fast. Great leaders have a drive and sense of urgency that you can just feel.
- Charisma – Finally, are they a good teammate? Do people enjoy being around them? Do people want to work hard for them? Do they elicit respect from their teammates? Can they create a sense of loyalty from those they lead?
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