10 Leadership Thoughts to Remember

I could probably write this post for the rest of the day, simply because I have learned so much as a leader over the years (primarily because I had no idea what I was doing when I first took a leadership position, and I’m still learning today). For now, though, here are some leadership thoughts I’ve considered over the years:

  1. Most of the world doesn’t know you. No matter how famous you think you are (and you might indeed be famous to many people), most of the world has probably never heard of you.
  2. Measure your leadership success not by what you accomplish, but by what happens to your team after you’re gone. Most of us know that truth, but we don’t live by it. We too often like to accomplish in the present with little regard for the future.
  3. Great leaders with no integrity are bad leaders. You might have more leadership prowess than anybody, but your leadership will decline if people can’t trust you.
  4. There is no “behind closed doors” conversation. What you say in private could very well become public . . . especially in a social-media driven world.
  5. A leader without a vision is really a follower. Somebody in every organization has an idea of where he or she wants the organization to go. It just may not be the person given the position of leader.
  6. You can’t fully avoid the fishbowl as a leader. Part of being a leader is knowing that somebody’s always watching you. That’s inevitable if you’re out in front.
  7. The most important things you do as a leader are behind the scenes. I speak, of course, as a Christian leader here – and we must lead out of our daily quiet time alone with God.
  8. Idolatry always lingers around the corner. It’s hard to be a leader and not get attracted to the possibility of dollars . . . or power . . . or position . . . or fame.
  9. No leader falls on purpose. I’ve met no fallen leader who planned to fall. Most were certain it wouldn’t happen to them, in fact.
  10. Organizations and ministries will go on without you. If you think that’s not the case, you’ll likely find out differently when you leave. If you’ve led them well, they might even have your replacement before you leave.

What leadership thoughts have been important to you? 


  • Bill Pitcher says:

    Thank you for the frequent reminders that all of us are subject to the call of sin, and the fall that accompanies it. It is a necessary thing to hear.

  • Don says:

    The best leaders are those who know who they are following, like the Roman Centurion. We follow from the middle; aware of the one to whom we are accountable and to those to whom we are sent.

  • Dale H Tincher says:

    This is very good Chuck. I will share it with our managers. I liked all of your points. I especially like the trust and integrity points – especially in today’s business world. If your team knows you care about them and they can trust you, they will go to the ends of the earth for you.
    Jesus is our model, of course, in every one of the points. The disciples and many others gave up everything to follow Him. Many people still do. His work carries and on and always will.

  • M.A. Hayward says:

    I always appreciate your articles; they make me think! Today’s musings: Regarding #5, I think as leaders among the church we need to realize that we are really followers. Jesus gave His vision for His church; He gave the mission. Any vision/purpose/mission statements put forth by church leadership must serve the Commission given by Jesus. I think #5 and #8 are very much the same issue: What are we following? Are we following Jesus and admonishing others in word and deed to do likewise, exalting the Gospel and directing people toward confession and repentance (leadership), or are we following after fame, fortune, favor, or some measure of worldly success? Are we faithful to the call and cause of Christ, or are we building our own kingdom? To craft our own vision/purpose/mission for the church, independent of the commission of Christ, is mutiny, and we’ll find ourselves chasing popular opinion and current trends rather than the Person of Jesus Christ. Sometimes it seems to me that leaders who don’t disciple and train up the next generation of leaders fail to realize that God does not have a plan *for them,* He has a plan, and we all fit into it. The former makes God’s work too much about “us.” The latter orients our understanding and guides our attitudes and actions as part of a whole. This is something I’m being challenged in and is transforming the way I lead (incidentally, to look more like what you’ve described above). Thank you Chuck!

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