Yes, we know there are multitudes of “lists of essential leadership traits” and “steps to be a leader” out there, but we thought we’d throw another one in in the ring because it is so helpful. Take a moment and reflect if these elements are functioning as the foundation of your leadership. If not, seriously consider incorporating them into your leadership!

Every strong leader will have the following two elements:


You must know where you are going. Your objectives determine your outcome. If you aim at nothing, you will achieve nothing.

Ability to Motivate

You must be able to persuade others to go along with you. This does not necessarily mean you are charismatic or personality-driven. On the contrary, one of the strongest motivations is your passion for your objectives. People are motivated to follow someone who knows where they want to go and is excited about going there.

Leadership is task and person oriented. You need objectives because it is task oriented. Motivation is necessary because it is person oriented. Don’t be discouraged! These two elements can be developed if they are not currently prominent in your leadership. A leader sees others (including yourself), not as who they are, but for who they can become.  

This article is adapted from Howard Hendricks' curriculum, The Dynamics of Leadership, in which he thoroughly covers many persistent issues in leadership. It is an outstanding resource and is available today!

About the Contributors

Kymberli Cook

Kymberli Cook is the Assistant Director of the Hendricks Center, overseeing the workflow of the department, online content creation, Center events, and serving as Giftedness Coach and Table Podcast Host. She is also a doctoral student in Theological Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary, pursuing research connected to unique individuality, the image of God, and providence. When she is not reading for work or school, she enjoys coffee, cooking, and spending time outdoors with her husband and daughters.