Transformational Leadership,

Transformational Leadership | Lesson 5: What Kind of Leader Are You?

By Ben Lovvorn

The goal of this final video is to help you figure out what kind of leader you are. Now that you know what it is to lead like Christ, what it is to be a transformational leader, what are the kinds of things you need to be thinking about and looking at in your life?

An overarching question to ask yourself is this: What are you trying to build with your life? What are you seeking Are you building a monument or creating a movement? Are you transactional or transformational?

I like to think of this in four categories: praise, power, prestige, and people. How you deal with each one will show what kind of leader you are.

Look at your own stance toward praise.

  • Are you seeking the praise of men or the commendation of God?
  • Are you unwilling to invest in others because you desire praise?
  • Are you more concerned about getting credit or giving credit?

If you want to be the MVP, but your team members are unknown, unappreciated, unfulfilled, underutilized, or (seemingly) unnecessary, you are not leading like Jesus.

Now think about your approach to power.

  • Are you concerned about how much power you formally hold?
  • Do you withhold information or work as a means of holding power?
  • Are you overly reliant on your formal position of authority?
  • Do you think people should follow your orders because they receive a paycheck or because you have the ability to punish them?

Remember, if you have to tell people you’re the leader, you’re not.

 What’s your stance toward prestige?

  • Are you more concerned with how people view you or with how they view the mission?
  • Are you building your own reputation or are you building the church?
  • Do you think about how your team can help exalt your name, or how you can help them become more effective, fulfilled, Christ-like followers of Jesus?

Finally, how do you treat people?

  • Do you view your team as all-stars or automatons?
  • Do you treat people as tools or do you treat them as beings made in God’s image?
  • Do you teach and train along the way?
  • Do you test and work to strengthen others?
  • Do you delegate to allow others to serve and gain meaningful experience?
  • Do you prepare people for the future? Do you care about their future?
  • Do you correct and restore, when necessary?
  • If they serve under your leadership for ten years, will they be better when they are done? Will they be more like Jesus? Or will they wonder what they have been doing?

I want to encourage you to take some time to really think through your answers to each of these questions. Be honest. And do you think the people you lead would agree with your answers? You could even take some time to ask them, or find ways to facilitate a conversation about the kind of leader you want to be. Listen to what people say, get opinions and guidance from trusted mentors and seasoned leaders, and make a plan to start working on areas where you’re weak. As you can tell from these questions, this isn’t just about building skills, this isn’t a bunch of tips and tricks to be successful. This is about your heart. This is about your own motivations for what you do and how you treat people. Do you really love them like Jesus does? Do you really want the best for them like Jesus does? Do you believe this life is all there is, or are you working towards something greater?

As Christian leaders, we answer to the Ultimate Leader, Christ Himself. One day we’ll stand before Him to answer for all that we’ve done, and that includes the way that we lead. And for those who trust in Him, who believe in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of their sins, you will be told, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” And you will get to enter into an eternity with Jesus Christ himself in the New Creation.

The best leaders are the ones who know where they’re going, and they’re able to do what it takes to motivate people to follow them there. As William Lawrence notes, “A Christian leader is someone who knows where the Lord is going and can get others to follow him as he follows the Lord… A significant element of Christian leadership is the ability to show others which way the [true] leader is going” (Lawrence, 1987, p. 318). That’s the greatest reward of being a transformational leader. When you lead in this way, in the way that Christ has marked out for you, you’ll be leading people toward this destination. Toward fulness of joy in Jesus Christ forever.

I hope this video series has been an encouragement to you! And I hope it will help you become a better leader. We’re in this together!

To help you with this exercise, we have prepared a free, downloadable resource for you—our Transformational Leadership Self-Assessment. The tool will walk you through a series of leadership qualities and habits. You’ll rate yourself on a scale from 1 to 5. And then this will help you discern the next steps you can take as you grow to become a Christlike transformational leader.