Developing Into a Strong Leader: 3 Principles to Help You Grow as a Leader

By Rodney Cox

“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.” 1 Peter 4:8,9


As a leader, the margin for mistakes can seem small when all eyes are on you. Not being everything you should be can be intimidating and overwhelming. But the good news is that love covers a multitude of sins.

My good friend Dr. Del Tackett defines love as – the act of being selfless, zealous, and seeking true good in another person. Wow, isn’t that a powerful, concise, and commanding definition of love? 

Developing into a strong leader means learning to lead with love. Here are 3 sound principles that will guide you to become a more effective leader and lead with love.


#1 Be Selfless

Look for ways you can step down and lead instead of stepping up and taking control. Great leaders understand both their strengths and weaknesses. They then contribute their strengths, when appropriate, and invite others into their weaknesses. This mutual exchange builds an environment where leaders are not seen as the “boss,” but as an “equal contributor” – a selfless leader. Make no mistake, your title might be boss, but nobody wants to be bossed around. People want to be led.


#2 Be Zealous

If you take a look at the Merriam-Webster dictionary, this word is defined as, “marked by fervent partisanship for a person.” There is nothing that unites people more than the pursuit of a common outcome. So, take an active role in looking for ways to partner with the people you lead. Invite their perspective, ideas, and insights, and then initiate action around them. 

Will your zeal for others build an environment of trust? The answer to that is yes. When people feel seen, heard, and valued without judgement, they develop a deeper connection and become better equipped to execute the mission of their organization. 


#3 Seek True Good 

You can fall into a trap if you are not careful as a leader. The trap is set when the goals of the organization outrun the values of the organization. Does the organization value success over people? As a leader, you must guard against building this type of environment. Leaders who fall into this trap will always become isolated and alone. It is a place where everything becomes about them and the organizational mission instead of Jesus and the people who are called to execute the mission.   


In summary, when these 3 principles are part of the DNA of the leader, the world will see 1 Peter 4:10,11 manifest before their very eyes.


“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others,

as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.  

…If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides,

so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. 

To him be the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen.”   


Let it be said of us!


If you’re looking to develop your strengths as a leader, start by understanding your strengths and take our QuickStrengths or Leading From Your Strengths assessment.