One of my greatest joys and passions is building great teams. I love finding the match between a great individual and a great role. It’s a magical combination.

For much of my career I’ve relied on my intuition to find these winning combinations. But I’ve also developed some systems and processes that help guide myself and our teams through a thoughtful process for selecting leaders. Most of my systems and processes focus on helping our team identify the three C’s – Character, Chemistry & Competency.

All three C’s are essential, but today I was reminded that the first step in selecting leaders really must focus on the first one – Character.

In Nehemiah 7, the wall has just been reconstructed and Nehemiah is beginning to set up leadership for the city of Jerusalem. He chooses two men to lead Jerusalem – Hanani and Hananiah (that’s not confusing at all!). Verse 2 tells us that Nehemiah selected these two guys because:

1) They were men of integrity

2) They feared God more than most people

I love this!

Nehemiah identified the two most critical factors for selecting leaders who would be able to steward Jersualem’s new found hope and freedom.  He needed extraordinary leaders to embrace the vision and move God’s people forward.

Nehemiah keyed in on the “character” component of hiring.

Note that he didn’t negate the other two C’s …

Hanani was his brother – implying chemistry

Hananiah was the commander of the citadel – suggesting competency

But Nehemiah made a point of clarifying the character of each of these men and why they were selected to lead. It seems he understood that everything else would rise or fall on their integrity and their fear of God.

As you’re selecting leaders …

Start with character and confirm with chemistry and competency.

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