5 Habits of an Effective Leader

Thriving as a Leader

by Brian Eno / September 14, 2017

I don’t think any great leader hopes to just survive in ministry, to just make it. No, I believe all great Christian leaders have a strong desire to thrive in ministry and in life. They want their ministry to be significant and successful. Great leaders recognize continually significance and success are results of good habits, and insignificance and unsuccessfulness is a result of bad habits. Thriving as a leader is not a one-time event but an ongoing discipline. John Maxwell is known for saying, “We first form habits, and then habits form us.” In order to thrive as a leader, you must develop and master certain good leadership habits.

Here are five leadership habits to form to thrive as a Kidmin leader:

Habit 1: Control your time.

Ephesians 5:16: “Making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil” (NIV).

How you use your time will determine if you thrive, survive, or fail as a leader. Thriving leaders plan and prioritize their time. They know when to say yes and when to say no.

Most importantly, they value their quiet time with God above all else.  

Habit 2: Have a winning attitude.

Philippians 2:5-8: “In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross” (NIV)!

Having a willing attitude is vital in leadership. Here are some attitude differences between losers and winners in leadership. Losers say, “I can’t, I don’t, and I won’t;” whereas winners say, “I can, I do, and I will.” Which do you tend to say more often?

Your attitude will determine your altitude. Ministry will challenge your attitude. This is why thriving Christian leaders always determine to keep a humble, servant’s attitude like their Lord.

Habit 3: Always keeps growing.

Jude 20: “But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit” (NIV).

Thriving leaders are teachable leaders. It takes effort for healthy growth to happen—it’s not natural. So as leaders we must make plans to grow and be willing to change. This is where a trusted mentor or life coach can really help.

If a leader is unwilling to grow he will be unable to thrive as a leader.

Habit 4: Live an above-reproach lifestyle.

1 Timothy 3:1,2: “Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task. Now the overseer is to be above reproach” (NIV).

If you’re going to thrive as a leader, you must live above reproach. You must live an honorable, exemplifying life—one that doesn’t disqualify you as a leader. The Apostle Paul, in 1 Corinthians 9:27, puts it this way, “I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize” (NIV).

Thriving leaders live above reproach in their minds, ministry, marriage, money and motives.  

Habit 5: Love people.

Matthew 22:39: “Love your neighbor as yourself” (NIV).

As Christian leaders, our ministry is people, NOT programs, planning, preparation, or even preaching. As a leader, I’ve personally been known to struggle with this habit. If not careful, I can walk right by a needy person to accomplish my preparation for some upcoming event or task. Thriving leaders learn to put people first.

Which of these five habits do you need to focus on most? What action steps will you take to form this habit in your life?