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the difference between a talented leader and a good leader

chipped glass

It’s possible to be a talented leader and still not be a good leader. As a matter of fact, it’s possible to be an effective leader, in that you’re able to get results and move things forward and still, not be a good leader.

The identifying mark that pushes a leader over the top and moves them from being a talented leader to becoming a good leader is character.

Without character talented leaders are tempted to…

 

1. Drift towards Self-Reliance

It’s easy to get by on talent if you’ve got it. That’s why we often hear this old anonymous quote thrown around; “Hard work beats talent, when talent doesn’t work hard.” Translated to ministry-world…if you’ve got talent it’s easier to get by on that talent than pressing into and relying on God.

2. Serve their own Interests

Without character a talented leader will have the tendency to leverage their talent and influence to benefit himself or herself instead of the mission of the organization. As a result their work becomes about self-advancement instead of mission advancement.

3. Use People

To many talented leaders people are a means to an end, a commodity to be appropriately expended, and a way to get where they want to go. Instead of developing people into who they could become and investing in them; they use them to get something from them or out of them.

4. Stop Listening

If you’re the most talented person in the room, that means your going to do the job better than anyone else, right? If so, then why would you listen to someone who can’t do the job as well as yourself? And so just like that many talented leaders stop listening. And in doing so not only create a lack of buy-in by their team members but fail to remember something that President Woodrow Wilson once said, “We should not only use all the brains we have, but all that we can borrow.”

Question:

Know any talented leaders who are also good leaders? What makes them good? What other temptations do talented leaders face?


Posted in Leadership

4 Responses to “the difference between a talented leader and a good leader”

  1. Dan Black May 4, 2012 at 10:24 pm #

    I think without character no amount of talent can allow you to be effective for the long run. Good character is so important for a leader to have. The best leaders have character and talent. That’s what makes them great.

    I just found your blog and I’m looking forward to reading and learning more from you.

    • Paul Alexander May 4, 2012 at 10:43 pm #

      Great to connect with you Dan! And yea…I’d agree I’d have a hard time following someone who didn’t have both talent & character.

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