Leaders must champion excellence more than anyone else


As a leader, Jesus stood always as the standard-bearer of excellence, and He expects no less from Godly leaders that look to do servant leadership that our Lord once did.

Ronnie Oldham once said, "Excellence is the result of caring more than others think is wise, risking more than others think is safe, dreaming more than others think is practical, and expecting more than others think is possible."

When I once asked a very successful pastor friend how he had worked to grow into an effective leader of a church of thousands, he told me that nothing less than excellence was what brought Him there, and that meant being accountable in all things- both small and big.

Excellence as defined by God

Excellence is more than just doing extraordinary things. It also means doing ordinary things in an extraordinary way. If a leader shows excellence on the pulpit, but not at home then that means that that leader doesn't get what true excellence really means.

If we want to define and exemplify excellence in a way that brings growth into our teams and glory to God, we must realise that excellence has nothing to do with a to-do list, but actually has everything to do with your heart.

When Jesus was asked by the seemingly excellent pharisees about why His disciples did not wash their hands in a certain "excellent way," Jesus responds by pertaining to a behaviour of honoring God with their lips, but having their hearts from from Him (Matthew 15:8). We can do things excellently yet for the wrong reasons, and as far as God is concerned, when this is how excellence is done, it's not excellence at all.

Excellence on the inside

For leaders, living a life of excellence means more than just looking good on the outside and forcing yourself to be of extravagant grandeur on the outside. Excellence very little to do with what's in our character than what is on our portfolios.

That's not to say that we don't do excellent work anymore, but when we do excellent work for the sake of looking good externally, we again miss the point. Excellence is most sustainable when it is done out of an overflow of a heart that has received the excellence of God.

When we as leaders realise that God has indeed given us His absolute best when He sent Jesus Christ as the atonement for our sin, we will respond in being excellent in all we do. In turn, people will catch up and live out of the same excellence. If you want to teach and champion excellence amongst your teams, champion an attitude and not an external behaviour. Moreover, champion Christ, who is the epitome of excellence both here on earth and beyond.