3 Marks of Leadership Maturity


One aspect of leadership I have been pondering is how Christ-centered leadership matures. As I have looked back over my own leadership life it is clear that there have been seasons marked by immature leadership–leadership that was more focused on self than on Christ and others.

What does mature leadership look like?

How is it experienced?

What are it’s marks?

There are three aspects which demonstrate a move from immature to mature leadership.

Mark #1  Being able to share power
Leadership is about power and influence. Young leaders can quickly become confused about the center of power and its purposes. There are really only two alternatives: either power centers around the leader, or the leader learns to give power away. Young leaders often want to control and be served. These are marks of the leader being at the center of power. But servant leadership is about making others the focus, therefore empowering others for success. Power sharing also reveals itself when you have shared leadership. In our organization we usually employ two team leaders for every team, a man and a woman. A leader’s ability to come to the table as equals and truly honor the other leader demonstrates maturity. A good leader also recognizes the wealth of ability in the room and seeks to empower anyone who can advance the mission. Immaturity requires the other leader to be subservient to them.

Mark #2  Leading towards your team’s needs, not simply your own
This is similar to number one except it goes beyond where power is located and begins to steward that power toward someone else. An immature leader can be overly concerned with their own needs or their own organization. A mature leader begins to look at the true make up of those entrusted to them and they become students of their strengths, gifts and abilities. They begin to provide what each member needs to see them succeed. They provide structure, resources, counsel, developmental opportunities–all in the name of making them better.

Mark #3  Being able to appropriately lead up
Leading up is about response to authority. Immature leaders complain about the leaders over them, rather than respectfully engaging them. Immature leaders diminish those in authority over them to others, instead of communicating respectfully about them. Mature leaders are able to trust God fully for those He has positioned over them.

What are your thoughts on this important topic? Let’s all move towards greater leadership maturity!

(photo credit)

4 replies
  1. Lisa M Leonard
    Lisa M Leonard says:

    Another excerpt from Dan Allender’s book, “Leading With a Limp:”

    “Here is God’s leadership model: He chooses fools to live foolishly in order to reveal the conomy of heaven, which reverses and inverts the wisdom of this world. He calls us to brokenness, nor performance; to relationships, not commotion; to grace, not success. It is no wonder that this kind of leadership is neither spoken of nor admired in our business schools or even our seminaries.”

    Gary, I hope things go exceedingly well for you in Italy, that God uses you in a mighty way. Blessings to you, dear brother, as you press on toward the prize of His upward calling!



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