5 Traits of a Magnetic Leader

As soon as I say the words “magnetic personality”, you’ve probably got somebody in mind that you find magnetic. Their personality is irresistible to you, whether you know them intimitely or not. There are probably a few qualities we can point out as particularly magnetic:

  1. Self Security. This to me isn’t about arrogance, but about rest. They know whose they are, who they are, and where they’re going. They don’t pace around and worry about those things, and they don’t worry that you know them either. There is no hint of insecurity of their identity, or pride in it. They are neither insecure nor arrogant. The best description is that they are at perfect peace and rest.
  2. Others-focused. Having peace with their own identity, they can interact with other people in a way that is completely free of arrogance, one upsmanship, and seeking approval from others. They genuinely are not seeking anything from anybody else.
  3. Overflowing Compassion. Because they don’t need validation or competition with others, and they are grounded with who they are, they have an amazing capacity for compassion and empathy for other people. They genuinely care, and their concern isn’t tainted by pride or their own agenda.
  4. Wise Decisions. They do not act overly quickly, they take the situation in, seek wise guidance, and act in everyone’s best interests. Sometimes they act quickly on their instincts when the time warrants, and other times they wait until an opportune moment.
  5. Servant Leadership. Service isn’t a style of leadership, but the very essence of it. Someone who is self-secure, are others-focused, has overflowing compassion and makes wise decisions is a natural servant leader. People innately recognize all these traits and line up to follow.

Notice how each trait builds on the one before it? You can’t be others focused if you’re not first secure with yourself. You can’t have empathy and compassion for others unless you are focused on them and not yourself. You can’t make objectively wise decisions if your motives are for yourself. And you can’t be a servant leader unless you make wise decisions for other people.

Each trait builds upon one another, but what is most interesting to me is how each one pushes pride further and further from our center. True and proper servant leadership is the exact opposite of pride. I like the way CS Lewis put it: “Pride is spiritual cancer: it eats up the very possibility of love, or contentment, or even common sense.” Why is it so dangerous? “It was through Pride that the devil became the devil: Pride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind.”

Magnetic leaders are that way because they have driven their very selves away from the picture. They have abandoned their own egos, their own pride, and work only for the good of others. They are magnetic because they do not reflect their own selfish and sinful desires, but instead they reflect the qualities of a loving God that thought so much of others that He endured death so they could have life. We were made, designed and created to be drawn to that kind of beauty. You do not need to be a Christian to be magnetic, you do not need to believe that God exists at all, but if you are magnetic, it is because you reflect the traits of a God you may not even believe exists.

I think too many Christians, especially me, lack magnetism because my agenda is all about me. My freedom of worship. How I am perceived. How God is using me. What I get to do. What my future looks like. What other people think about me. If we shed it all, and lay all those idols and all that pride at the feet of Jesus, we can run totally unencumbered. We would be weighed down by nothing, with greater influence, and a complete magnetisim, because it is no longer about me.