8 Indispensable Qualities Every Leader Needs

Israel’s second king, King David, poses a question about character in Psalm 15.1, “God, what do you look for in those who draw close to You?” He them summarizes the answer in the first part of verse 2 with the words ‘blameless’ and ‘righteous.’ The NASB version uses the word ‘integrity’ for ‘blameless.’ These eight qualities rise out of this passage.

Psa. 15.1 LORD, who may dwell in your sanctuary? Who may live on your holy hill?  2 He whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from his heart 3 and has no slander on his tongue, who does his neighbor no wrong and casts no slur on his fellowman,  4 who despises a vile man but honors those who fear the LORD, who keeps his oath even when it hurts,  5 who lends his money without usury and does not accept a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things will never be shaken.

The verses that follow verse 1 describe a blameless-integrous-righteous person.

Take a moment and ask yourself if these qualities would accurately describe your leadership character. If not, what needs to change in you?

  • I tell the truth. (v 2)
  • I avoid gossip. (v 3)
  • I protect the reputations of others. (v 3)
  • I hate what God hates. (v 4)
  • I show honor to the faithful. (v 4)
  • I keep my word. (v 4)
  • I’m fair with others. (v 5)
  • I refuse to be manipulated. (v 5)

Integrity means avoiding sin. I’ve always appreciated this definition of sin from Susanne Wesley, the mother of Charles and John Wesley. We leaders would do well to heed her wisdom as we lead.

Whatever weakens your reason, impairs the tenderness of your conscience, obscures your sense of God, or takes off your relish of spiritual things; in short, whatever increases the strength and authority of your body over your mind, that thing is sin to you, however innocent it may be in itself.

What other character qualities would you add to this list?

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