If you look around any organization today, you’ll find leaders at the top of the organizational chain. Some are great leaders, some are okay and some are simply ineffective. But is this really the leader’s fault? Do we train employees to become leaders, or do we simply continue to promote some people upward, expecting them to naturally learn leadership by osmosis?

Today and tomorrow, pastor, church leader and organizational leadership specialist Ron Edmondson shares his list of key characteristics of good leadership with Promotional Consultant Today. Here are the first five characteristics:

A good leader…

1. Recognizes the value in other people and continually invests in them. Good leaders see a large part of their role as developing people and new leaders. Leadership development takes place in an organization as leaders begin to share their experiences, both positive and negative, with others.

2. Shares information. There is a tendency of some leaders to hold information, because information is power. A good leader uses this to the team’s advantage, knowing the more information the team has collectively, the stronger the team.

3. Has above average character. There are no perfect people, but for leaders to be considered good, they must have a character that is unquestioned within the organization. Their integrity and transparency is paramount. Leadership always draws criticism, so a leader may not be able to get everyone to believe in him or her, but the people who know the leader best should trust the leader’s character most.

4. Uses their influence for the good of others. Good leaders are as interested in making a positive difference in people’s lives as they are in creating a healthy profit margin or accomplishing a strategy. In fact, people-building is a large part of the strategy. This doesn’t mean that balance sheets and income statements aren’t important, but a good leader doesn’t separate a desire for helping others from the desire for financial health. And good leaders find ways to leverage financial health to strengthen the well-being of others.

5. Is skillful, competent and professional. Good leaders are talented or knowledgeable about their field and can be depended on for their follow through. You don’t question whether a good leader is going to be able to complete a task. He may not be the smartest in the room, but if he doesn’t know how to do something, he will find someone who does and he’s not afraid to ask or empower others. He will ensure a job he has committed to do is done the best it can be done. This also means he doesn’t commit to more than he can reasonably accomplish. He knows the power of “No.”

Read more leadership characteristics in tomorrow’s issue of PCT.

Source: Ron Edmondson is pastor at Immanuel Baptist Church, a church leader and the planter of two churches. He loves assisting pastors and those in ministry as they think through leadership, strategy and life. His specialty is organizational leadership, and he consults with church and ministry leaders.