What Does It Really Take to Be a Leader?

May 2, 2018

In the April Round Table meetings, we discussed “What Does it Really Take to Be a Leader?” One aspect of leadership is learning how to deal with conflict in a healthy and productive manner. Rodger Price, Owner and Founder of Leading By Design, will teach you just that at our upcoming Leadership Breakfast on May 18th. Click here to save your seat and learn more about the “#1 Communication Challenge: Leaning Into Healthy Conflict.

Below are the notes from the April Round Table meetings:

Birmingham Round Table Notes


“What does it really take to be a Leader?”

Q1: What are skills and characteristics of good leaders – honorable ones?

Passionate, Integrity, Vision, Consistency, Agility, Followers, Engagement, Service, Communications Skill, High Personal Values, Competence, Common Sense, Caring

Q2: Where are these learned?

School of Hard Knocks, From other Leaders, On the Job, Experiences. Best: Integrated and re-enforced/planned, Mentors, Modeling, Books, presentations, Self-Study

Q3: How are these taught?

Demonstration, Written scripts, Procedures, Speaking, Sacrifice – Leaders eat last, Examples


Passage: Proverbs 27:17 says, “Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens his friend’s countenance.”

Kalamazoo Round Table Notes (Tuesday)

What does it really take to be a leader?

  • Thick skin.
  • Proximity can create bad communication/conflict through assuming that people already know what is going on within the company/department.
  • Conflict can be a meeting of the minds. Sometimes the best growth comes out of conflict.
    • Conflict can cause improvement.
    • Have humility and confidence with the big picture in mind.
  • Book: Leading with a Limp
    • Allow your flaws to be seen
  • Integrity of character in all situations. Would rather that someone be consistently bad than inconsistently good. We at least know what to expect from them.
  • Effective leadership is not necessarily good leadership. Hitler was an effective leader, but he certainly was not a good leader.
  • Remember that people don’t purposely do things wrong, but rather do it in response to a situation.


  • Seek first to understand.
  • Don’t assume. Sometimes the lack of performance can stem from their cultural norms.
  • Always ask questions. Ask why someone isn’t meeting their goals and deadlines.
  • Leadership isn’t all about you. Allow others to shine.
  • Ask questions even when you have experience because every situation has its own nuances.
  • What are the elements of communication within your organization? Ask your team and clearly define.
  • What is good communication?
    • Draw people deeper into an issue to get to the root cause.
    • Leaders need to teach others to properly communicate/facilitate.
    • Observe while communicating to your team.

Kalamazoo Round Table Notes (Thursday)

What does it really take to be a leader?

  • Unfortunately, many organizations and leaders don’t know what it takes to be a leader
  • Nobody has clearly identified the characteristics.


  • A key part of leading is listening.
  • The delivery of your message matters. How do you leave people feeling after you interact with them?
  • There is only one person to beat: yourself.
  • Don’t be ruled by your emotions.
  • Follow your gut instincts.
  • Learn how to handle pressure.
  • Discipline your employees. It is one way that you can show that you care.
  • Leadership is spending time with people and developing them.
  • Must take time to reflect and be self-aware. Ask yourself how you can improve.
  • It is also necessary to have spiritual awareness/boldness.
  • Remember that not all leaders are in leadership roles.

Kalamazoo Round Table Notes (Friday)

 Topic: “What does it really take to be a leader?” 

  • Moxy, courage & humility
  • Not a people pleaser
  • High drive
  • Strong response to adversity
  • Confident in the mission – not let acceptance/rejection get in the way
  • Stays the course – is locked in to the mission
  • Decision-making – anyone that makes decisions is a leader
  • Needs to be called a leader
  • Collaborative & able to get others engaged
  • Willingness to serve – servant leader
  • Well-rounded person
  • Good listener to feedback
  • Manages energy well
  • Walks the fine line of transparency and guardedness
  • Hearts, hands & habits
  • Stays hungry & thirsty to learn and grow from others
  • Knows & leads themselves well
  • Comfortable in their own skin
  • Are leaders born or made?
  • Both – born and made if they want it enough to be made & build their skills up (high drive)

Take Away:

  • It takes A LOT to be a good leader (except Christ)
  • Nobody is a perfect leader
  • Continue to press on to be a better leader every day and put ourselves in a position to grow
  • Know what you need to do to lead yourself well first

Want to learn more about how you can become a more effective leader? Visit our video library where you can review all of the leadership topics from past Leadership Breakfast Events.