063: 8 Qualities Of A Good Leader [Podcast] – Todd Stocker.com


The Elections are right around the corner. So what qualities should we be looking for in the next leader of the United States and how should we emulate those qualities?

Today’s Quote:  A superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions. – Confucius

With the elections right around the corner, I thought it’d be good to rehearse one of the many lists in the Bible that describe what a good leader is. This list is from 1 Timothy 3. 

A good leader is:

  • Good
  • Has integrity
  • Respected for his business
  • Hospitable – has a welcoming spirit
  • Teachable
  • Gentle
  • Not an obsessed lover of money
  • A leader at home
  • Humble

One Radio host took a list and compared the lead candidates to this list.  Yikes. Neither of the top nominees did very well, unfortunately. 

Lists are helpful for grocery shopping and getting things done, but sometimes fall short of completely describing a human being.  Be that as it may, this is a good list for you as a leader to check yourself against.

Some questions you could ponder are:

  • “Which is my strongest, most consistent quality?”
  • “What would other people say I’m strong in?”
  • “In the weak areas, how can I bring them up a notch?”

If you’re serious about becoming a better person or leader, you may need to have someone else walk you through these questions. 

I can help!  If you want to talk about my coaching services, click here.


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What Wisdom Can Do For You

next_level_wisdom.001“What is Wisdom and why is it such a big deal?”

The music dribbles from the small black speakers that hide in the shadows of the exposed rafters of the coffee shop.  One young gal is in the corner, chewing on her pencil as she bounces from scanning the Chemistry 101 book in front of her to squinting at the screen that illuminates her fair-skinned cheeks.

There are several like her here.  Some studying out of duty.  Others seem to possess a deep thirst for mastery.  It forces me to ask, “Am I a learner?”

John Maxwell said that “All Leaders are Learners” and since I believe that everyone leads someone — even if it is only themselves — I hold firm that I must be on a constant hunt for wisdom.

Wisdom is greater than knowledge.  Wisdom takes facts and breathes life into them by adding experience.  Wisdom hides in the dry pages of books, film and local communal observation.  Wisdom is more precious than gold and understanding more desirous than silver (Proverbs 16:16).

So take knowledge, put it into action and wisdom is quick to follow.  Take advice, tips and learnings and apply them to life and understanding will soon appear.  Be a lifelong learner.  Learn, grow and give and wisdom is sure to take your life to the next level.



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2 Keys to Feeling Fulfilled


Many years ago, our family journeyed into the great outdoors in a part of the country called The Boundary Waters.  Pristine lakes and virtually untouched landscapes refuel the souls of those who venture in.

As our family was hauling our gear, my youngest daughter – 5 at the time – lagged behind the rest of us which didn’t sit well with her.  Finally, she stopped, dropped the little bag she was carrying and yelled out, “Stop!  I want to be the leader!”

The feelings from my little girl illustrates the frustrations that many people experience in their lives.  They are in a job or life-situation that has robbed them of two critical elements needed for fulfillment.  These two basic needs that scripture, studies in Psychology and long-lived personal development books talk about are the keys to people’s sense purpose in life:

  1. The feeling of progress.
  2. The feeling of control.

The feeling of progress is simply that sense that a person’s life is moving forward in some area.  In World War II, interrogation camp officials would incessantly send a message to the prisoners that this was all there was, that there was no more and that their lives meant nothing.  No progress.  No meaning.  No movement.  As a result, many of prisoners would readily give information about the U.S. operations thinking that they had no hope anyway.  For survival, some of the prisoners would find something that they could work on to show progress.  Many make origami out of the cigarette wrappers on the cell floors.  Others would scratch out pictures on their floors but would only add one piece per day as to prolong the finished product, giving them something toward which to look forward.

The feeling of control is the sense that I am the master of something in my life.  The problem becomes when we try to control parts of life that are out of control.  Realistically, you can only control 3 things:

  1. Your thoughts,
  2. What you hold as images in your mind,
  3. Your reactions to events in and around you.

Notice that ‘emotions’ are not on that list.  You cannot control your emotions, but you can control how you handle the emotions that pop up.

Hope this helps!

What do you think? Comment below



What Might Be Happening When Your Leader Does Nothing

Screen Shot 2013-11-04 at 6.54.31 AMI was sitting at a stoplight waiting to turn right – 3rd in line.  The light turned green but the lead car didn’t move.  It just sat there. My brow furrow, thinking that the large SUV driver was on the phone or daydreaming or flipping radio stations.  However, I was more patient than the young man behind him, in front of me, who laid on the horn – first in short blasts, then in long drones.

Still the SUV didn’t move, green light and all.

As I watched and began to fume, from the front of the SUV, a young mom pushing a stroller that held a sleeping 2yr-old came into view, crossing past the SUV and onto the sidewalk.  The honking stopped.  All of us drivers exhaled and we realized that waiting was the smartest thing for the leader to do.  Had the leader charged ahead, tragedy would ensue.

If you’ve been in leadership, you know that sometimes the hardest thing to do is to do nothing.  You can’t make a decision because you are needing to see what the market is going to do.  You have to wait on moving forward with an initiative because you don’t have the right people in place.  You hold back on saying ‘yes’ to one department because you know that it would decimate the goals of another.

Sometimes leaders have to wait.

The problem comes for those who are following – for those who don’t or can’t see the big picture.  We become upset with our leader and think that they are indecisive, lazy or afraid.  We ‘honk our horns’ in frustration and wonder why he or she won’t approve a spending request.  We become myopic in our quest to further that which has been entrusted to us.

If you’re in that situation, here are three questions to ask yourself if your leader seems to be doing nothing:

  1. Is there something that I’m not seeing that he is?  Maybe there is better option coming into view that I can’t see yet.
  2. If my leader moved forward right now, what other departments or people may be affected?  Maybe approving your venture would slow down or stop the off-shore team that is about to launch into a new area.
  3. What else can I do to cast vision about the importance of my initiative?  Maybe my leader doesn’t know what I need.

Of course there are leaders who are lazy or procrastinate unnecessarily, but unless there’s a pattern, always give them the benefit of the doubt.  In other words, lay off your horn.  

Add to the conversation by making a comment below … 



By the way, here is a video of what could have happened if the SUV when forward:  CLICK HERE.


When our kids were young, we camped along the Boundary Waters in northern Minnesota.  Beautiful canopies of humidified trees sopped the muddy path from our car to our campsite several hundred yards away.  Back and forth, our little family trudged, unloading gear, setting up tents and staking our claim along the waterside.

On one venture heading back to get the cooler, Maddie our youngest, who was 5 at the time and 10 feet behind us, stopped in the middle of the pathway and shouted, “STOP!  I WANT TO BE THE LEADER!”  The word “leader” echoed for what seemed to be a solid 15 minutes, bouncing from tree to canyon to mountain peak.

Have you ever asked yourself why you want to be a leader?  For Maddie, she simply didn’t like dodging the mud thrown from the back heels of everyone else.  But what about you?  Why do you want to lead?

Bad leaders simply want to be controlling (see related post).  Weak leaders need to have their ego’s bronzed so their insecurities stay hidden.  Cowardly leaders like the feeling of popularity when situations are good and blame others when situations are bad.

So why do you want to lead?  Here are a few right answers to help you become a better leader:

1)  I want to lead because in leading I have an opportunity to learn.
2)  I want to lead because I love to see other people not just survive but thrive.
3)  I want to lead because I feel I can contribute to the entire organization in a positive way.
4)  I want to lead because I desire to add value to other peoples’ lives.

As you ponder your own answer to that question, remember that leadership is, at it’s core, a servant’s role.

Why do you want to lead?



As a leader, I can sometimes be a bit myopic when it comes to decisions.  I use to think a decision is either right or wrong.  Experience has taught me that decisions are rarely a yes or a no and rarely are they completely right or completely wrong.  Author and researcher, Jim Collins, says that successful organizations embrace a “genius of the ‘and'” concept which seeks the beauty in both (or more) options.  This leads to wisdom in the decision making process.  (Read Jim’s article here).

The benefits of seeking Wisdom is that it’s pursuit takes into account ambiguity.  Wise decisions help bad decisions refocus. Wise decisions allow for more input from others and the flexibility to adapt after the decision has been made.

So how do I make wise decisions or at least strive to make them?

  1. Involve others.  You may be smart but asking others their opinion can increase the wisdom factor 100 fold.  (Click Here to read more about Group Think) 
  2. Gain insight from the past, present and future.  What impact has this situation had in the past.  What is the reality of my situation today.  Will I be proud of this decision 6 months from now?
  3. Most importantly, Pray and Act.  Prayer has so many benefits.  As a Christian, prayer connects me with God’s Holy Spirit who already knows what’s going to happen.  It surrenders my pride, will and agenda to His and allows Him to press His thoughts into mine.

Question:  Add to the conversation – How do you strive to make WISE DECISIONS?  Write a comment below …
If you want to go deeper, read the story of Joseph (Click Here).