The Heart of a Leader

Heart to lead

Do You Have the Heart of a Leader?

When you think of leadership what comes to mind? I think I could ask a hundred people and get a thousand different answers.  This week I have chosen to look at the heart of a leader, as true leaders lead from a place of love and not force. To that end I have gleaned from two great leaders (who are also Celera coaches).

The 2 Core Responsibilities of a leader

By Mike Foster:

Last week I had the opportunity to spend an hour with some incredible leaders involved with Backstage Leadership.

I shared with them what I considered to be my 2 most important leadership responsibilities. (Btw, thanks peter for sharing them with me)

1. BUILD TRUST: I do this with striving to live transparently and with character in both my personal and professional life. Bottom line is if people don’t trust you, they won’t let you lead them. Especially if you are leading to a place of challenge, risk, and the unknown. Our inspirational speeches, clever mission statements, and our stunning business card titles are nice, but they don’t trump trust.

2. BEAR PAIN: Let me shoot straight. If your heart isn’t burdened for others and you’re not helping to carry that weight, then you are not a leader. If your world isn’t uncomfortable and you aren’t navigating pain on a daily basis, then you’re probably not a leader. I love what Craig Groeschel said to me many moons ago…

“The size of your platform is directly proportional to the amount of pain you can endure.”

– Along those same lines Dan Reiland writes in his article…

“Simply Relational, Part 1”

Are you demanding by nature?

Most leaders are type A, driven, and “push” people, at least to some degree. Pushing people is much different than being a pushy person. A “push” can feel like a loving nudge in the right direction or like someone just shoved you over a cliff. A better word than pushing is leading. The picture of a leader is one who is out front inviting others to come forward. The picture of pushing is more of someone behind you making you go where you don’t want to go. The truth is, leaders do both. And whether or not the outcome is favorable is based largely upon if you are demanding by nature or by function.

A leader who is demanding by nature is never satisfied and often makes demands to satisfy his or her personal agenda. This can stem from not knowing what you want (where you are going) or personal insecurities and needs. A leader who is demanding by function (responsibility) does so for the good of the people and the organization. No one likes to follow someone who is demanding by nature. More bricks less straw! This person is at best a bully, and at worst, a tyrant. Everyone will follow a leader who is tough but cares. (Demanding by function.) The greatest coaches, teachers and leaders all have high standards and refuse to lower them. The leader who is demanding by nature will eventually forfeit leadership.

Until Next Time,

Charis Sonksen


“Blessed is the leader who seeks the best for those he serves.” – Unkown


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 July 30, 2010, in compassion, Habits, Leadership, Personal Growth, Relationships and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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