What Do Leaders Need?

What are the most important qualities for leadership? I’m reading a book by Anthony DeMello called Seek God Everywhere, and this jumped out at me. DeMello likes what was said about the woman who founded the Maryknoll Sisters, Mary Joseph Rogers (1882-1955): “She was a woman who had a cool head, a warm heart, and a sense of humor.”

Let’s take a quick look at those three qualities:

1. A cool head. Leaders have to be able to keep their wits about them. They must be able to make decisions, to have a broader perspective, and to tolerate other people being upset with them.
2. A warm heart. Leaders must have the ability to connect emotionally with their people, or the followers won’t follow. You can cultivate this if it doesn’t come naturally, but you can’t fake it.
3. A sense of humor. DeMello says, “Sit lightly on everything.” Humor will help us ride out the inevitable ups and downs — be able to laugh, especially at yourself.

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