September 4, 2012 by Daniel Beckworth
When seeking to define a good leader, what do you look for? Is it talent? Or perhaps stature. It could be looks, how a person carries themselves, work ethic, drive, competency, and the list goes on. I think the most overlooked characteristic of good leadership is integrity. You can look at the past year of Penn State’s existence as a confirmation. Joe Paterno was unmatched in terms of legacy and it all came crashing down. Since then we have come to find that it was not a momentary lapse in judgement on Mr. Paterno’s part, but a long term failure to live a life of integrity.
I think there is also some biblical support. Samuel is going to meet the sons of Jesse in order to determine which of his sons would be replacing Saul as king of Israel. Samuel naturally looks to the oldest of Jesse’s sons, who would have naturally been in line for the position, as the next king. God quickly reminds Samuel that outside characteristics aren’t the determining factor in God’s eyes. In 1 Samuel 16:7 it says, “But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”
I think this principle can be applied to all positions of leadership. Whether it be business, ministry, or parenting, the idea still applies. Your outward appearance and achievement is not the most important thing in God’s eyes. The man of integrity and obedience to God’s Word is far more valuable to your ministry or business than someone with a great resume. With that in mind, we should all strive to be people of integrity. My church, my family, and my friends all need me to be that man.