Selecting Leaders: Teachable

#6 Teachable

I’ve posted about this topic before because I love it so much. Click hereherehere, and here.

Proverbs 10:22 (NIV) “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.”

Being teachable should be a non-negotiable.When I am interviewing potential leaders I try to figure out if they are the type of leader that will be willing to learn under any circumstance. Teachable people can go further faster.

People skills, a positive attitude, and other qualities can be learned if you are teachable. I’ve seen countless examples of leaders skyrocketing in their influence because they are willing to be taught. In my opinion being teachable is the most important quality of a leader.

Questions to ask:

Who are their mentors?
How would they handle criticism and correction?
Do they ask great questions?
Can they handle being given direction?
Can they admit weakness?  Say I’m sorry?
How do they handle failure and trials?


Selecting Leaders: Positive Attitude

#6 Positive Attitude

I don’t know if you’ve ever been around a teammate with a bad attitude but it’s not cool. It’s draining. Demotivating. Bye bye team moral.

People with a positive attitude make a team irresistible. When choosing my leaders I always look for people who are a positive and life-giving. People who encourage and look at the opportunities.

Debbie Downers don’t make great leaders.

Questions to ask:

  • What was your first impression of them?
  • What do they talk about?
  • How is their attitude when things don’t go their way?

Selecting Leaders: People Skills

When selecting leaders I always look for leaders with good people skills. Here’s the reason. Jesus said that the greatest commandment is to the love God and the second greatest commandment is to love people (Matthew 22:37-40). And I just don’t know how we can love people if we don’t have people skills.

Here are some of the questions I ask:

Do they work well with people?

Are they intimidated by people?

Are they awkward around strangers?

Can they speak first to others?

Do they have great communication skills?

Can they walk up to someone they have never met and spark up a conversation?


Every leader on my team has to have either natural people skills or the willingness to learn. I am naturally shy. However, I knew when I became a leader that I sacrificed that trait. Over several years, I have learned how to be more outgoing and extroverted for the sake of being a spiritual leader.

Selecting Leaders: Competency

#4 Competency

Competencies are the accumulation of skills, knowledge, experiences, and abilities that make the leader valuable to the team. If you only choose leaders who only have character or leaders who you have a natural connection with then you may end up wasting your time. They have to be able to bring results and contribute to the goals of the team. I always look for people that have great work ethic because God’s mission requires great work ethic. Am I right?

I would always prefer for my leaders to already have strong self discipline and skills. The truth is that everybody has an area where they are gifted. I always make sure we have some sort of a position for every leader on my team. Their gifting needs to match up with the positions or roles that we have available. 

In Exodus 18, Jethro told Moses to “select capable men” to help him. He specified “capable men.” This obviously means there are some that are incapable and excludes those that are incapable.

In verse 22, he says, “That will make your load lighter.” Leaders should make our load lighter.

Also, in II Timothy 2:2 Paul says, “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.”

Selecting Leaders: Chemistry


Not chemistry as in the periodic table. Chemistry as in harmony when working together.

Around our staff team we have a phrase that we use called “Divine Flow.” We use it when describing people that are easy to be around. You probably know what I’m talking about. Those people who don’t take a whole lot of work and energy for you to  to be around. It just clicks. You both “get” each other.

I really do think that running a team should be fun. So I build my team full of leaders who are fun to be around and who energize me. And I don’t apologize for it. Because I think when you work with people you actually like then you will get more things done.

Questions To Ask:

                    • Do I like being around them?
                    • Will I look forward to having meetings with them?
                    • Does it energize me to work with them?
                    • Do they “get” my vision?
                    • Do they trust me?

Selecting Leaders: Influence


The second quality I look for when selecting leaders is influence. Now we know that influence isn’t enough. But it sure is something. You definitely don’t want to build a team of non-influencers. I would caution you to not build a “cool club” team. That’s why character and influence have to go together. But you want people on your leadership team that can actually lead others and are influential. I think anyone can be taught how to have influence. But for some it just comes more natural. I always look to build my teams with naturally influential people.

Also, some people are made to follow more than lead. So when you put them in leadership positions they will more than likely disappoint themselves and you as the leader.  Some are born to lead. Some are not. If everyone was a leader then we would have chaos. Some prefer to assist or follow.

Questions I ask:

  • Do people want to follow them?
  • Do they speak up in a group?
  • Are they opinionated?
  • Are they solution-oriented?
  • Are they a good communicator?
  • Do people want to be like them?
  • Are they going anywhere in their life?
  • Would they be a good recruiter?