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This is part 9 of a series of posts on leadership. In this post we continue our investigation of the qualities great leaders demonstrate. Not every great leader possesses all these traits, but they recur among those we commend as great leaders.

Intelligent: Analytically & Emotionally

Great leaders are smart; they possess intelligence; of two kinds. For years, intelligence was measured by problem-solving tests. It was located in how quickly people could recognize patterns and draw logical conclusions. That’s analytical intelligence and is stated as a number called “IQ”, for Intelligence Quotient.

Over the last couple decades, another kind of intelligence has been identified; emotional intelligence (EQ). This is the ability to accurately identify the emotions of others. And not just identify them, but know why they’re feeling that way. Then how to help them out of unsettling emotions into a healthier place.

An interesting mark of great leaders is their almost intuitive sense of being able to take the relational temperature of a situation, and when off, to reset it. This is where asking God for the spiritual gifts of discernment, the Word of Knowledge and Wisdom is good.

While extensive studies have made it clear we can’t do much about raising our IQ, we CAN raise our EQ by intentionally applying God’s grace to how we relate to ourselves and others.


1 Thessalonians 5:18 • … in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. The last mark of great leaders we’ll cover is that they are appreciative. Great Leaders say “Thank You.” They know people could hitch their wagon to someone else, so they’re thankful they’ve tied up to them. But here’s the key: They don’t just feel thankful; they express it. Unexpressed gratitude is ingratitude. And for appreciation to be meaningful, it has to be specific. Great leaders identify who did what, when and where. They name names. They realized what gets rewarded gets repeated.


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