The Core Traits of a Leader

11722365_10153435402566505_5070409007068211449_o80 days from now, our family will be starting a new adventure in Eldred, PA.  Over the next few weeks, I will be sharing various thoughts and insights as we prepare to minister at McCrea Brook Wesleyan Church.  It is hard to believe that it is getting so close and we have so much packing to do yet.

One of the opportunities I have had while in Staunton is to be part of the team at Chick-fil-A of Waynesboro.  About two years ago (almost three) I started the process towards being a team leader.  This position is the equivalent of a shift manager position in many other organizations.  We are responsible for the things that happen on our shift.  As part of the training several years ago, I was introduced to something called The Core Traits of a Leader.  These are things that a leader should instinctively do.  I found some of them much easier to take on than others.  We even spent time each day talking about them.

As we begin our journey at McCrea Brook, they are leadership traits that I want to take with me.  I have learned a great deal about leadership during my time at Chick-fil-A.  So for today’s post I wanted to share these with you.


  • Character: Remain above reproach and uphold Chick-fil-A of Waynesboro Core Values with integrity and be a model citizen and employee
  • Infectious Attitude: Does this person have the type of attitude I would want to have spread around? Would I want my staff to be imbued with it?
  • Sense of Abundance : Their view of the world should be the cup is always at least half full, and how do I spread that abundance
  • Self-Awareness: Where are you? Where are you going in life? Do you have a destination or journey mind-set?
  • Charitable Assumption: Our environment works best when optimistic, hopeful, and open-minded people are leading our organization. Our environment does not work when leaders are skeptics who think they already have all the answers. A charitable mind-set assumes the best in other people. Mind-sets tend to become self fulfilling
  • Knowledge and balance of results and relationships: This is a constant tension in our environment. Leaders shouldn’t value one more than the other, but believe success starts with relationships.
  • Long-term view of success: Your philosophy should put priorities in this order: 1. Employees 2. Guests 3. Community 4. Suppliers
  • Trust and NO FEAR: Fear based management fosters a corrosive, dim-witted business culture. Prospective leaders often opt to leave before they come great leaders and good employees quit because they know they can never thrive in such a negative climate
  • Approving Patience and Tough Love: Tough love is another term for frank “I’m on side your side” It is absolutely incumbent on leaders to praise employees for good work. I expect leaders to tell me when employees do things right so I can personally thank them.
  • Not feeling threatened by others: A defensive boss results in a team desperate for new leadership. Great leaders own up to their mistakes, insist on learning from them, thank others for pointing them out, and move on.

I think that anyone who is in leadership – no matter what – should embrace these.  I know that they have helped me both in my leadership at Chick-fil-A and as I have used them in a pastoral role as well.

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