Leadership is a gift you’re born with and a talent you can develop. Being a great leader isn’t easy, but no matter where you start you can sharpen the skill. Like Peter Drucker used to say, “Managing is doing things right. Leadership is doing the right things.” It’s so full of intangibles — including influencing and inspiring others. The foundation of great leadership comes down to building solid relationships and trust — trust that is earned through behavior and action. Great leadership happens when there is trust on both sides, and when people look up to the leader.

By putting in the time and effort, you can easily be the kind of leader that is infectious. Freelance writer and spiritual consciousness speaker, Gil Jones, is here today to go over his top 5 factors to improving leadership. He built the two largest churches in Colorado history and has helped non-profits around the U.S. to fund raise over $400 Million and is an expert at reaching Millennials through Baby Boomers. The 1st Factor to Becoming A Great Leader Is…


You either know you’ve been called to move the world toward change through your company or organization or you don’t. You can’t manufacture it. This fake it ‘till you make it thing can be sniffed out by anyone who has a finely tuned BS finder. Morale is tied to integrity and inspiration, in that order. If you don’t do as you say and/or bore people, then don’t wonder why you’re stuck. On the flip side, true passion is contagious and builds movement and morale. People who worked with Elon Musk in the early days, for example, found that though Musk had no concrete knowledge of space or rockets when starting out, he was so jacked up about the topic that he found a way to make his passion a reality. 2nd…

Show Trust and Respect

The two pillars of any relationship — from marriage to friendship to leadership toward your employees and volunteers — are Trust and Respect. Great leaders know the way, go the way, and show the way. Consistently. And when they take the time to cast their compelling vision, bear down and do the work every day, and firmly and gently train and evaluate those their asking to eat, drink, breathe, and sleep their heart, you can’t help to create a powerful culture. Building trust and respect also means allowing people to take risks and even make mistakes. The bigger mistakes the better. When one of IBM’s Account Executives lost an $80M client he cleaned out his office and placed his resignation letter on his supervisor’s desk. The supervisor looked at the deflated guy and said “Go back to your office and settle in. We just invested $80M in your education and ability to do better next time.” Its time leaders let their people fly. And that takes vision, intuition, and guts — qualities that people expect their leaders to specialize in. 3rd Factor of Great Leadership…

Admit When You Blow It

Leadership usually brings with it a growing ego. And there’s positive ego and toxic ego. Toxic ego is insecure, arrogant, and never owns its mistakes. Positive ego is so secure and grace-based that it embraces self-deprecation. And part of that humility is admitting when you blow it — admitting it specifically, in a timely manner, and then changing. Around my house saying you’re sorry carries no weight unless it’s timely, sincere, and backed by authentic change. Here’s a paradox: leaders become approachable and more powerful when they admit they’re wrong. Read that again. You won’t hear that in college or at a seminar but it’s true. The truth is people will respect you even more. Admitting when you blow it shows self-reflection and open-mindedness. It creates the opportunity for dialogue, which in turn strengthens existing relationships. The more honest and open you are, the more you shoot up the leadership charts in your people’s hearts and minds. 4th…

Be a Blow Their Minds Communicator

A great leader can creatively articulate their vision, mission, heart and passion to both their employees as well as their clients. This takes loads of thought time, writing, and practice. There’s nothing worse than the trumpet sounding and the CEO coming out communicating with the fervor of a popcorn fart. When the bell rings for the race you want Secretariat not a donkey, you know? People are hungry for something to live for greater than themselves. Dying for it, frankly. Anyone who has played sports, been involved in the arts, or placed themselves under any authority figure knows the value of cutting edge, clear communication. You get either fired up or hosed down. There is little in between. Figure out how to push the communication button in the highest ways possible. Your company, organization, or department is dying for clear, inspiring notes that galvanize them to take on the best causes of our day. And finally…

Know When To Shape Shift

Become a transformer. Look, as it’s been said the only constant is change, and great leaders are ready for it to happen on a dime. This means making quick but not hurried decisions while also rallying teams and providing structure to changing priorities.

This isn’t easy. Let’s be honest, though people want to be part of an amazing, exciting vision they don’t want to have to flex in order to get there. Try placing your CFO, accountant, or bookkeeping staff on a commission plan and watch smoke start coming out their ears! But change means growth and growth means change, and the last time I checked any leader worth their salt would rather guide a rocket ship into orbit more than a bottle rocket over their neighbor’s roof.

So be ready for change. Anticipate it, prepare your people for it, and execute it with precision. Some people will self-eject from the rocket, others will hold on a while longer and test the G-forces before they make a decision to stay with the vision or not, and those who really get it will throw their hands up and scream with joy while you ascend. Literally, leadership at this stage is such… a… blast.

Grasping these leadership attributes and growing into them isn’t always easy. It’s a life-long pursuit and effort to build up these skills. The great news is the right people, your people, will see their lives radically transformed as you set the purpose of your life to lead them well.

Gil received his Business Degree from Bradley University and his Masters from Western Seminary. He is an entrepreneur who started and grew the two largest churches in Colorado history. He is currently a speaker, teacher, and author around the topics of truth, trauma, and spiritual consciousness. Gil is a father of 4 and lives in Maui with his wife Beth and their two adorable Rottweilers Ulani and Nani. 

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