What Great Leaders Do

Scuba instructors teach each student the same basic lessons.

A couple of years ago I had the opportunity to scuba dive for the first time.  I must say that it was quit an adventure.  Something I will never forget.  I attended a 90 minute orientation in which they taught us to breathing techniques and other safety precautions to help us during our diving experience.  After our orientation we headed into the ocean and it was incredible.  After our experience was over I walked by another small group of people who were receiving their orientation for the first time and listened for a moment as they listened intently to their guide.

I noticed that the techniques that they were being taught were exactly the same as what I had received.  What was successful for one group was obviously successful for the next.  I thought to myself, “that is the way it is with leadership.”  The techniques for great leaders are often the same. What great leaders do at one location will be often the same at another.  Success techniques simply don’t change too much for different leaders.

I have listed below some of the techniques that I have seen leaders use.  These techniques will work if you give them a chance.  Here are a few that will help you:

Make others feel important
If your goals and decisions are self-centered, followers will lose their enthusiasm quickly.  Emphasize their strengths and contributions not your own.

Promote vision
Followers need a clear idea of where you’re leading them and they need to understand why that goal is valuable to them.  Your job as a leader is to provide that vision.

Follow the Golden Rule
Treat your followers the way you enjoy being treated.  An abusive leader attracts few loyal followers.

Admit your mistakes
If people suspect that you’re covering up your own errors, they’ll hide their mistakes too and you’ll lack valuable information for making decisions.

Stay close to the action
You need to be visible to the members of your organization.  Talk to people, visit other offices and work sites, ask questions and observe how business is being handled.  Often you will gain new insights into your work and find new opportunities for motivating your followers.

Practice these techniques in your work environment and like the instructions I received for my scuba diving experience…they will lead you to success!

Until next time,

Chris Sonksen


The men who succeed are the efficient few.  They are the
few who have the ambition and willpower to develop themselves.
– Herbert N.  Casson


About Chris Sonksen

Chris Sonksen is the founder and Lead Pastor of South Hills Church and has an exceptional ability to inspire both secular and non-secular audiences. Under his leadership, South Hills has experienced phenomenal growth and in just a few short years has grown from a handful of people to nearly 3000 in attendance today. Today South Hills has become a thriving, multi-service and multi-site church. Chris has a magnetic, captivating and humorous style for motivating and inspiring all audiences. As a motivational speaker, he has spoken both nationally and internationally in companies such as Verizon, Securitas and Home Depot, and there is no doubt that by applying his teachings, his audience will improve the quality of their lives! Chris is the author of two books In Search of Higher Ground and Handshake. Chris is the founder of Celera Church Strategy Group an organization with an unwavering commitment to excellence in all things, with the goal to “raise the national average of church attendance,” by equipping church leaders with resources and coaching. Chris brings high-energy focus and a passion for vision and leadership to encourage and equip the local Church. Chris is a native Californian, born in Long Beach and currently resides in Corona with his wife, Laura and their two children, Grace and Aidan.

Posted on November 17, 2009, in Leadership, Relationships, Team and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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