Monday, April 6, 2020

What Defines A Quality Leader?

Hello friends! I know this post is during turbulent times. I can hardly wrap my brain around school, parks and restaurant closings. There's enough conflicting information to spend the rest of my days reading and watching videos. However, as uncertain as things may be I am leaning into the ONE who is 100% certain ALL the time. And today's post is a peek into my heart. No, I'm not talking about the pandemic. Rather I'm shedding light on where I came from and why I'm passionate about quality leadership, women supporting women and so forth. We need strong leaders right now, right?
***If you would rather skip past the short back story and go straight to thoughts on leadership, scroll on down. ;)

Come virtually sit with me...

It's a beautiful day here in sunny Florida. I'm seated at our bistro table in front of our small home, enjoying the bright sunshine from the cover of shade. It’s breezy out and wind gently whips at my hair from both directions. Peacefully, I take in my surroundings. The palm fronds sway back and forth, quieting my overactive mind. It's a happy moment and the perfect for reflection.

My bistro table has room for more, so consider yourself virtually invited. We exchange greetings, followed by pleasantries. 

Hi. I’m Chrissy, a wife to a wonderful man and pastor in Christian ministry. Together we have four boys, two of which are home schooled. I am the creator and writer behind Granola & Grace blog. I’m considered to be a leader (whether I signed up for it or not) at our church, in our home and hopefully in our community as well.    

Did I mention that I’m a lover of coffee and adventure, a creative of sorts whose outlet is her now 7-year-old blog? I'm surrounded by those that love me and there’s not enough time in the day to love on all those I wish to share love with.

The conversation is going so well that we begin to ask deeper questions…

"So, what's something I'm passionate about?"

Before I answer that question, it might help if I share some back story. There was a time when I thought very little of myself. I'd go from person to person, hungrily seeking acceptance and worth.  Then I met THE person. No, it wasn't my husband, although I think he's fabulous. He came later. This ONE stemmed the tears, the self-deprecating, and eventually the pain. I met Jesus and He changed the way I look at myself and continues to do so through the Bible.

And it was on this journey that I also met some incredible women in the faith. Women who loved, supported and uplifted other women. There was no competition in their eyes. They reached out to me with love and without judgement. They poured out their time and their hearts to this insecure, self-doubting woman who believed she had nothing to bring to the table. Here began a respect for strong leadership and the start of a new passion. 

Now let's return to the present. I've been married for almost twenty years now. Those four boys are getting bigger by the moment. I’ve lived in another country. In ministry, I've led children, teens and adults. I’m a discussion facilitator and train others to do the same. I have spoken in front of large crowds. I've led worship, sang special music, etc while ignoring the cancerous thoughts that someone better should do it. I’ve organized events, led teams and so on. I continue forward. When I fail, I choose to start again. However, I did NOT do all this alone!!! 

Why am I sharing all this? Because, one, I hope to encourage someone reading this. No matter your past you can move forward to a future of hope, peace and purpose. It’s not too late for new adventures, a new career, etc.  And two, no matter what you do in life, it’s important to align yourself with quality leaders!

So, again, if you ask me what I'm currently passionate about, I'd tell you my faith and encouraging other women.  When women embrace their true identity they are capable, strong, courageous, caring, beautiful, compassionate, intuitive, creative, whimsical, enchanting and so much more. 

Does this describe me? Some days
Am I still fearful at times? Yes
Do I occasionally listen to the lies of "I'm no good"? Yes
Do I struggle with comparison or being selfish sometimes? Yes

However, whether I think it or not, I'm a leader to some and I want to be like those who have invested in me. At the same time, I carefully choose who I share my heart with and who I choose to admire.

That's why I'm closing this post with a short list of what I believe makes up a quality leader. Let us strive to be quality leaders and align ourselves with quality leaders!

We are all leaders somewhere, and to someone.

What Defines a Quality Leader?
Not all leaders, exhibit character traits that we wish to aspire to. However, we don't always get to choose our leaders do we? During those seasons we can still learn how not to be, as I'm sure many of us already have. That being said, here’s a few favorable characteristics to look for in quality leader.

Knows Their Vision - Belief System and sticks to it
A quality leader has a clear vision or purpose.  Also, “vision leaks” as the saying goes, so consistent reminders of “why” is helpful for the work ahead.  We all get into our daily routines, which can distract us from the original purpose. 

A quality leader is kind. When an unworkable idea is presented a kind leader knows how to respond without making the sharer feel patronized, less intelligent or wonder why they are on that particular team. They treat their team with respect and show gratitude for them regularly.

A quality leader knows how to hold onto the vision and still listen with an open mind. There are times when change is necessary and the leader isn't the one that notices. A quality leader is aware that they won't always have the inside scoop on what's going on. They know they need to listen to those who do!

Quality leaders recognize that they don't have all the skills or all the knowledge. That's why they have a team. An unteachable leader comes across as prideful and arrogant. Again, no one has it all together and we need others to complete any mission.

Admits When They're Wrong 
This is part of being teachable. A quality leader isn't perfect. However, when they make a mistake they should own up to it, apologize and move on. There's no finger pointing, blame shifting etc. Part of being a leader can also mean you take the fall for the whole team, even if it wasn't you that dropped the ball.

A quality leader is willing to do all the tasks, no matter how small. They show up early and help with set up, or whatever is needed. A quality leader leads by example.

Does not micromanage:
A quality leaders knows the difference between supporting and micromanaging. A leader needs to check in, but if people feel like every move is followed up on and there's no opportunity for their personal handprint on the job, it's demoralizing. They will wonder why the leader doesn't just do it themselves.

Identifies other leaders
Have you ever worked or served alongside someone that had this uncanny ability to see qualities in you that you didn't even see yourself? I have, and over the years I've accomplished far more than I believed possible because of it. A quality leader knows how to recognize potential in others. A quality leader is always looking for someone to invest in, encourage and raise up to be a leader as well.

Align yourself with exceptional leaders and BE an exceptional leader! Not sure where you can lead? Ask a few loved ones, that you trust, what areas they think you're successful in. Chances are you are already leading in those areas and didn’t even know it!
Again, recognize that EVERYONE is a leader to someone and whether we are leading one or a thousand, may we lead well! We need quality leaders now more than ever before - lead and serve my friends!

Questions to ponder: What are some areas you can be a leader in right now? In what ways can we think for ourselves, do some extra research and be a calming light in the current storm?


  1. This is such a great post Chrissy! I never thought about leadership this way. You're right, we all have some leadership qualities within us and are all leaders in some way. And, with the state of the world, it's more important than ever to bring them out to help and support each other!

    Jill - Doused in Pink

  2. LOVE LOVE this post! Thank you for sharing your heart!

  3. It sounds like you've had a lot of good opportunities, my friend. Serving with a Christian family can be both the best and most challenging (IMO). Individual serving seems to be the most lacking when you look out at the landscape. // Your passion for women is apparent. If we can grasp our identity in Christ (and it's a constant challenge) it goes a long way toward leading, loving and accepting. Hugs, stay safe!

  4. Thanks for sharing! I tend to stay to myself especially in the last few years, but I really need to start reaching out and not using my kids as an excuse to be more of a leader at church especially in reaching out to the other women. After years of being in church of our church camp, I kind of got burned out so in the last couple of years (we are now part of a much smaller parish), I have not really gotten involved in anything.

  5. Chrissy, this is such an inspiring and motivating post! We all struggle with our roles as leaders in some capacity, I think. And I also think we are all leaders in one way or another to certain people. And that role should not be taken lightly as others look to their identified leaders to always emulate the good and right thing. But like you said, not all leaders do that. I try to be an inspiration whenever I can. I feel compelled to do so, like it is my calling in life. But I do still struggle with my self worth and those taunting ideas in my head like who really cares what I have to say about anything. But for some reason, I just keep going. Always hoping to have a positive influence somewhere. Thank you for your leadership, your kindness, and your beautiful light!


  6. I'm not religious but I sometimes wish I was. You write about it so real and honest. Thank you.

  7. You have so much wisdom Chrissy. I love this list and it's true that someone who admits when they are wrong is a great trait of a leader. We need more of that .


© Granola and Grace
Blogger Templates made by pipdig