10 Signs Of A Mature Leader

When I think of great leaders, I think of Caleb. He had a heart that could overcome anything and stay fully alive. He was full of vigor at every age, never losing sight of all God has promised him, well able to overcome and conquer until the day he stepped over into Heaven. He had the kind of faith that inspired everyone.

Caleb. A hero. A leader. Always fully alive.

Out of the million or so men Moses led out of Egypt and across the desert on an 11-day journey, that evolved into a 40-year quest, Caleb was one of only two men who actually stepped foot across the Jordan River into the Promised Land (Numbers 14:30). The other was Joshua.

Just two. Out of a million.

A generation died in the wilderness, and two other generations were born. Hanging on to the promises of God, Joshua and Caleb lived through it all and saw the land flowing with milk and honey (Numbers 13:27). They never forgot all that God did for them, they remained and faith-filled for decades.

Caleb, in particular, had a different spirit. When, at forty years of age, Moses sent him to spy out the land, he came back with a wholehearted report. “Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, ‘We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it’” (Numbers 13:30). He knew he was “well able.”

Everyone else was negative and fearful. They saw giants and felt as small as grasshoppers in comparison (Numbers 13:33). But not Caleb. And because of that, God promised him something: “Because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it” (Numbers 14:24).

God rewarded Caleb, and Caleb never let go of what God promised.

Forty-five years later, at age 85, he was just as wholehearted. He wasn’t quitting until he got what he’d fought for 40 years to get. He wasn’t quitting until he got to move to Hebron in The Promised Land.

Caleb wasn’t the most gifted, or most eloquent or the smartest. But he was the most wholehearted.

I love how he says, “I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I’m just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then” (verse 11).

What enthusiasm. There is nothing more wholehearted than someone who has been a leader for a long time and is still full of optimism.

Caleb was 85 and “just as vigorous.” He kept his zeal and his joy. He hung on to the promise: “Just as the Lord promised, he has kept me alive” (verse 10). And he wasn’t just alive, he was all in. He was a leader that remained young at heart—but not immature. He understood how God wants us to be full of wide-eyed wonder, but not foolishness. How he wants us to be childlike but not childish.

When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me” (1 Corinthians 13:11).

In our journey to inspire as mature leaders, we can learn a lot from Caleb. If we grew our leadership capacity like him—if we matured like him—there would be nothing we couldn’t do.

I want to share with you 10 Signs of a Mature Leader to help you develop your leadership to stay wholehearted no matter how many years you lead.

1. Maturity is unshaken by flattery or criticism.

When our identity is secure in Christ, we can live free from the approval of others. I have been applauded after a message but ignored on social media. Regardless, to be a mature leader, my obedience and confidence cannot be affected by either. (1 John 2:27)

2. Maturity has the ability to delay gratification.

The ability to wait and understand that timing is just as critical as knowing the right decision is key. Leaders who want it all now will lose it all later. (Hebrews 6:12)

3. Maturity can keep commitments long term.

The ability to maintain is just as valuable and mature as the ability to pioneer. Mature leaders are just as faithful to a project when it becomes tedious. (2 Corinthians 8:11)

4. Maturity has a spirit of humility.

It’s important to give credit to your colleagues, to share the wins, to give your opinion, but let others go first. It’s thinking of others more and ourselves less. (James 4:10)

5. Maturity is not ruled by emotions.

Jesus to our heavenly father, “Not my will, but your yours be done” (Luke 22:42). His obedience wasn’t based on his feelings, but his decision to obey.

6. Maturity expresses gratitude constantly.

Mature leaders know it’s a privilege to serve on the team. They have no sense of, “I deserve this.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

7. Maturity prefers others to self.

A mature leader knows she’s worth more to the team when she doesn’t have to be the start of the team. She values others more than herself. (Philippians 2:3)

8. Maturity is teachable.

A mature leader doesn’t have a “know-it-all” spirit, but a “tell-me-more” spirit. They are lifelong learners. (Proverbs 9:9)

9. Maturity is responsible.

Mature leaders come up with solutions rather than deposit problems on their leader’s desk. They are faithful to execute. (Titus 2:7)

10. Maturity brings freedom.

Mature leaders don’t have to be micromanaged. They can be trusted to carry the vision and greater responsibility. (Luke 16:10)

When your heart is all in—when you contribute as a mature leader—you will do anything, go anywhere, and give everything. Like Caleb, you will be wholehearted—and you will succeed.

Christine Caine

Christine Caine is an Australian-born, Greek-blooded activist, author and international speaker. She is cofounder of the anti-human trafficking organization, The A21 Campaign, the founder of Propel Women and the author of the new book Unashamed: Drop the Baggage, Pick Up Your Freedom, Fulfill Your Destiny. For more information visit www.christinecaine.com.

Join the discussion

Sandy Brindley January 3, 2018 at 9:34am

I just wanted to thank you for giving us a guideline for 10 Signs Of A Good Leader.. This is my year at the age of 56 to get out of my comfort zone! You challenged each one of us 47 days ago (but who is counting) at your Propel Conference in Dallas, Texas to be leaders to get involved with our home churches. These are very insightful facts that are backed by scriptures. Your guidelines are now written in my personal journal to remind me of my new walk with our Lord and Savior for I cannot follow without His help. Many thanks from Tyler, Texas.

Hope Frye December 5, 2017 at 4:25am

Thank you Christine for sharing this story of the Bible of what a mature leader looks like. It still boggles my mind that someone could still have faith when they are one of the two out of a million that still believe in what God;s bigger picture. I aspire to be like Caleb and Joshua! When it came to your first sign of maturity, I was curious on how to balance the temptation to focus too much on flattery or criticism. The problem with flattery is that we can become to focused on ourselves but criticism can be an easy gateway for us to get offended easily or take it too critical to the point of thinking we aren't good enough.

Silvia May 21, 2017 at 12:51am

Great article, as always Christine! There is so much room for me to learn and apply a lot of what you wrote. Some of these I do well and well, others I do not. Thank you for sharing your heart and wisdom with us. See you on May 25th!

FATIMA April 29, 2017 at 9:16am

I loved this article. I find it completely interesting, Christine. It is filled with wisdom and light, I ran to the scriptures because I wanted to learn more. (thanks for sharing the verses)
I am definitely going to print it and study it.
Greetings from Mexico.

Valerie April 26, 2017 at 12:28am

Wow, this is such a good article! I need to go back and read the story about Caleb.

Susan Gruener April 24, 2017 at 5:39am

Thanks for this Chris!
I love the story of Caleb and Joshua. I especially love how Caleb lived "wholehearted" for God, and thought of himself as "vigorous" at his old age. That is what I want to be! And to have that "different spirit" too! Caleb's story is interesting to me because I am not the "young" set, middle age or even in my 50's! I'm 65 and waiting to see what and where God has me next. Thanks for this encouraging word for me today! My faith was encouraged, and my eyes, mind and heart are more open today!

Jana April 23, 2017 at 1:34pm

Wow. What a great "measure" to put against myself on my "wall" of spirituality. Love this! Thank you for sharing- you are such an inspiration on so many levels and may God reward YOUR leadership mightily. Somehow, I have a feeling you'll be standing next to Caleb one day having great fellowship about all this. ;) Bless you!

Annamae April 23, 2017 at 10:56am

Thanks for your encoutagement, Christine!

Raquel Brooks April 23, 2017 at 7:39am

Love this article! 10 Signs of a mature leader allows a person to truly evaluate themselves. I used to struggle horribly with the people approval. I still do at times, but I am learning to push back those thoughts of what people think of me. I think we want others to approve of us, but I have learned that everyone will not approve of you or may not even like you much. But thanks be to the word of God that helps keep us grounded and focused on His thoughts of us!
Thanks Christine for a great article!

Wendy April 23, 2017 at 6:47am

Thank you for this amazing example of 'mature leadership . I pray young leaders everywhere become mature leaders!! Yes, it does take time...that is the point. Let your young heart develop persevering and enduring faith!!

April April 23, 2017 at 1:41am

I enjoyed the reading this weekend. I look forward to Saturday's , because I know I am going to read an article that will help me through the next week. I thank God for Propel Women and Christine Caine.

Michele D'Costa April 22, 2017 at 10:15pm

Great message!!! I needed to hear this today. Leading is humility with wisdom. Wisdom by being on my knees before Jesus and asking HIM to pour it in.

Leading is not being First but being last.

Leading is being I obedient in my walk no matter how good or bad it feels.

Thank you for this message today Christine 😄

Kathleen April 22, 2017 at 7:15am

Powerfully true! God Himself is the author and finisher of our faith. Praise Christ Jesus Only! In Jesus Name. Amen Amen

Kelley O'Brien-Green April 22, 2017 at 6:18am

Thank you for sharing this today. Biblical wisdom and truth for everyday life. I appreciate the time you took to write and post this article. By sharing you are teaching and stretching me in ways that make me think about the Lord. I had an immediate application or action response to reading this short article. I had questions and it answered them. Thank you for encouraging me today by thinking deeper about Caleb's life. You are my sisters and I love you for your dedication to keeping our time on earth relevant and real as we share our love for Jesus Christ.