What do you need to be an effective and confident leader? What traits will set you apart and help you lead well?
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In this solo episode, I want to share with you the 3 traits that every leader needs. These 3 traits are not an exhaustive list by any means, but they are characteristics that will help you lead more effectively.
Before we dive into the 3 traits, though, I want to share with you why I talk about confident leadership so much, and why it matters.
Why I’m passionate about confident leadership:
One of the biggest reasons I talk so much about leading with confidence is that I know what it feels like to struggle and NOT feel confident at all. I know what it feels like to sense God calling you to something but not feeling sure how to actually pursue it.
Or believing that you have something to offer but not having clarity around what those gifts and skills are… therefore you tend to hold back. I know what it’s like to have a dream, but you put it on the shelf for a long time… there’s always a good “reason” but really it’s just excuses because you’re afraid.
Thankfully, God has taken me on a journey towards becoming a confident leader and stepping into my calling. I have seen Him do amazing things in my own heart and mind, and I have seen how that has allowed me to step up and do things that I never would have dreamed being able to do several years ago.
If you want to hear a little bit more about my journey towards becoming a confident leader you can check out episode 68.
Since going on my own journey, God has also given me a passion to help as many women as I can get out of the cycle of doubt, hesitation, and insecurity and be able to step up as confident leaders.
I truly believe that when we do this, we can change the world. But this idea of leading with confidence is not about us “living our best life” or getting everything we dream of… it’s about living out the ultimate mission God has given us, because we won’t be held back by our own fear or by other people’s doubt.
The ultimate goal of leading with confidence is so that more people can know and experience the love of God and the free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. It’s so that we can walk in the freedom that comes from God and help others do the same. It’s so that we can reach our communities, our families, our world with the different passions and gifts that God has given us, each serving him in our unique ways.
And this mission is really why I started the podcast: I wanted to help women like you be able to embrace your gifts and lead with confidence.
Since starting the podcast, my vision for what can happen has expanded: I want to create a community of women who are willing to go against the status quo — who are fully committed to shining the light of Christ and who are willing to use their gifts and talents to lead others.
Now that you understand why this is so important, let’s look at the 3 traits you need as a leader.
3 Traits Christian Leaders Need:
Trait #1: Confidence
If you want to be an effective leader, you need to have confidence. I use the term “confident leader” because it’s important to understand that confidence is a key trait that you need in leadership.
The confidence that I’m talking about is not a confidence that comes from leaning on yourself or your own abilities. Rather it’s a confidence that comes from placing your full trust in God, knowing that He is the source of all of your abilities and strength needed for whatever task he has given you.
So as a Christian woman, it’s important for you to remember that confidence is not about you; it’s about the God who lives in you.
If you want to dive deeper into this topic, I recommend you go back to episode 6, where I first discussed leading with confidence.
And then take a listen to episode 67 where I share the 5 reasons confidence makes you more effective leader.
I also recommend listening to episode 68 where I share what you need to know about becoming a confident leader (and I walk through the 5 stages of confident leadership).
Trait #2: Clarity
Clarity means that a leader is clear — there’s not a lot of confusion, second guessing, or constantly changing back and forth.
So what do we need clarity about as leaders?
First, we need clarity around the truth of who God is and who He says we are.
This truth can be found as you dig into God’s word and get to know Him more through that process. Everything we do needs to be based on the truth of who God is; otherwise it’s very easy for us to go off track as leaders.
Second, we need clarity around the purpose God has for us.
Getting clarity around your purpose can be a messy process, but it often involves getting clear on things like your gifts, your dreams, your strengths, personality, and more. These things can help point you towards the unique purpose God has for you. In addition, getting clarity around your purpose often involves listening to the Holy Spirit… and it can often include periods of waiting and allowing God to work in you.
If you’re interested in the topic of purpose, you can hear more about this in episode 10 where Holly and I discuss finding your purpose. I also talk about some of the obstacles to pursuing your purpose in episode 93.
Third, you need clarity around who God is asking you to lead.
Often I think we get confused about who we are leading, and it’s important to get clarity around who God has entrusted to us. In some cases, the number might be pretty small, and for others of us, it might be a large group of people. As we have shared before, the number of people we are leading is not what is important – we need to be willing to lead small and take that just as seriously as leading a big number.
Trait #3: Courage
Effective leaders are courageous. They step out and do things even when they are afraid.
Courage is taking action on something difficult or scary, even when you’re not sure about the outcome. Courage involves risk but it also produces great reward AND it builds confidence.
Every one of us will face circumstances that feel impossible. We will encounter times when following God’s direction or leading will appear unsafe or may not make sense in human terms.
And we have a choice: we can allow fear to stop us… we can say no or not follow what God has put in our hearts. Or we can have courage… we can “face the fear and do it anyway” or “do it afraid”.
Courage will set you apart from other leaders; courage will allow you to do things that you otherwise would run away from.
There’s a quote that I have had up in my office for years, and it reminds me of the source of courage:
“Courage comes from a heart that knows it is loved.” – Beth Moore
As a Christian leader, when you are confident in God’s love for you, it is much easier to step out and be courageous.
Courage is not static; it implies and involves taking action. So the way you build courage is by one small baby step at a time. The more you take small steps of faith, the more you will see how God is faithful to you and guides you for the next step.
Are you ready to become a confident leader?
I’m on a mission to help as many women as possible become confident leaders. I want to see more women stepping into exactly what God has for them so that they can shine the light of Christ, share the Gospel, and make disciples in whatever unique setting or way God calls them to.
That’s why I put together my Confident Leader Catalyst program. This past spring, the first group of women went through it and I am excited to share the opportunity with you to join the fall round.
The Confident Leader Catalyst is a step-by-step program that takes you from hesitant, confused, and stuck to confident, clear, and ready to take action. We will dive deep into helping you become a leader who has confidence, clarity, and courage so that you can step out of your comfort zone and into your calling.
Head over to confidentleadercatlyst.com to learn more and join.
Resources & Links:
Celebrate my birthday with me!
This Friday, I’m turning 40. I’d love to invite you to celebrate with me by sharing this episode (or any other episode) on social media, mentioning how it impacted you, and be sure to tag me.
My Facebook page (@estherlittlefield)
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Other Ways to Connect with Esther and the Christian Woman Leadership Podcast:
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