12 characteristics of “All In” Leaders

in Catalyst,leadership,Leadership Rules. 8 Comments

Are you a leader who is “ALL IN?”

I want leaders on my team who are “all in.” Coaches want players who are “all in” on their teams. Every organization out there wants employees and team members who are “all in.”

Being ALL IN as a leader means:

1. You don’t look at the clock, and you’re not punching a time card. Your role is not defined by 9 – 5.

2. You get it done no matter how long it takes. You are “managerless,” meaning no one else has to worry about whether you are getting it done.

3. You realize you are part of something bigger than yourself, and humbly accomplish the goals because of a larger motivation than just you.

4. Giving just the “minimum” amount of effort required to get by without “getting in trouble” doesn’t even cross your mind.

5. Your hard work and excellence is done with pure motives. You are not worried about climbing the ladder or impressing anyone.

6. We is much more important than me. If I win, the team wins. If the team wins, I win.

7. You are willing and motivated to improve daily. Getting better at what you do is not a choice, it’s a requirement.

8. You maintain a high standard of excellence because the team/organization/brand demands it. You don’t want to let anyone else down on the team.

9. The vision compels you to greatness. Not the opposite- “your greatness compelling the vision.” Many leaders get this backwards.

10. Your intentions and goals are clear. I know what I’m getting, and I’m never concerned about any alterior motives.

11. You are trustworthy. 100%. Always with no exceptions. I know I can count on you.

12. Constant pursuit of the extraordinary, not ordinary. Constant pursuit of unusual, not usual. Constant pursuit of being the best, not average.


  1. Jeff says:

    What is your opinion on work life balance?

  2. Jason Vana says:

    Great list of the qualities of all-in leaders, Brad! It’s these kind of people I look for in my ministry. But I’ve seen, too, that leaders need reminding of the vision, purpose, and direction of the organization, as well as development and training, for them to stay all-in leaders.

  3. Scott Marean says:

    I can’t believe your first item is “you don’t look at the clock”. You need to go back and listen to Andy’s “choosing to cheat” series. ;-)

    Otherwise, the rest are fine. ;-) I’m particularly challenged by: Not the opposite- “your greatness compelling the vision.” I need to make sure I’m not guilty of that.

  4. Carl says:

    This is a great post! The sad thing: You realized the need to post this in the first place. “Back in the day”, these traits were the norm, not the exception. I hope all who read this forward this to a colleague who is lacking in some of these areas with the hope the recipient becomes an “all in” leader.

  5. Rebecca says:

    I’m the farthest thing in the world from a leader as a homeschooling mama, but. . .wow. This is a VERY motivational list for what makes a great mom/wife/homemaker, too. Also passing this on to my teenaged sons who have taken on leadership roles in their FIRST robotics group this past year.

  6. Corey says:

    I agree with Scott. Many pastor and lay leader families fall apart because of an inability to say “enough”. Also, most often I have seen the excellence mantra become a prideful, performance based model that relies too much on personal ability and charisma, trying to outdo other churches. How about a desire for holiness above success, truth above pragmatism and a desire to see where He is strong in our weaknesses. Some of these are just fine, but it’s a little too Matt Foley for me….

  7. Burns says:

    Rebecca, I would say you are very much a leader, and a very, very important one at that.

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