As the leader goes, so goes the organization being led. The leader needs to model and live out certain qualities for the organization to become and stay healthy. Ron Edmondson shares some critical ways the leader sets the bar.

Originally published by Ron Edmondson

If you are a leader you have the responsibility of establishing parameters by which your organization will be successful.

Of course, Jesus sets the bar for the church. He is our standard. But God allows people to lead, even in the church. And, Christian leaders, set the bar in our church for many things which happen in the church.

A mentor of mine always reminds me, “Everything rises and falls on leadership”. He didn’t make up the saying, but he’s learned in his 80 plus years of experience how true a statement it is.

Are you leading with the idea that you are setting the bar for the people you are trying to lead?

7 ways the leader sets the bar:

Vision casting

The vision, even a God-given vision, is primarily communicated by the senior leader. Others will only take it as seriously as you do. Keeping it ever before the people primarily is in your hands.


The moral value of the church and staff follows closely behind its senior leadership. The quality of the church’s character — in every major area of life — will mirror closely to the depth of the leader’s character.

Team spirit

If the leader isn’t a cheerleader for the team, there will seldom be any cheerleaders on the team. Energy and enthusiasm is often directly proportional to the attitude of the leader.


No church — and no organization for that matter — will be more generous than its most senior leadership. There may be individuals who are generous, but as a whole people follow the example of leadership in this area as much or more than any other.

Completing goals and objectives

The leader doesn’t complete all the tasks — and shouldn’t — but ultimately the leader sets the bar on whether goals and objectives are met. Complacency prevails where the leader doesn’t set measurable progress as a value and ensure systems are in place to meet them.


The leader doesn’t have to be the most creative person — seldom is — but the team will be no more creative than a leader allows. A leader who stifles idea generation puts a lid on creativity and eventually curtails growth and change.


The speed of change and work on a team is set by the leader. If the leader moves too slow so moves the team. If the leader moves too fast the team will do likewise.

Team members will seldom outperform the bar their leader sets for them. Consequently, an organization normally ceases to grow beyond the bar of the leader.

Be careful leader of the bars you set for your team.