There are numerous qualities of biblical leadership. The issue with working on the more prominent and well known leadership qualities such as communication, courage, fairness, humility, etc. (while these are still necessary) is that it's like putting expensive chrome wheels on a rusty old station wagon. You have to start with the foundational values that make leading, as like David, possible. Once you have these down as part of your character, the expensive wheels suddenly fit and make more sense. As an added benefit, you won't break down during the journey. There are four scripturally-based values that are necessary to begin building up while you are young which will prepare young men (and old) for our role as leaders (1Timothy 4:12): Responsibility, Accountability, Commitment and Intentionality.
“When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things.” – 1 Corinthians 13:11
This is really about taking ownership of the things that need to be done in your own life. When we are children, we put the welfare of ourselves on the shoulders of our parents and other adults, but becoming a leader starts with becoming our own caretaker. After all, being a leader means caring for others. How is this possible if we cannot care for ourselves first? Read 2 Thessalonians 3:10. The principal here is that if you cannot provide for yourself or care for your own needs, how will you do so for others?
Men, as in all mankind, will stand accountable for their deeds done in this lifetime (Deuteronomy 24:16), but there are a few additional facets that leaders of men must adopt. Leaders are not only accountable for themselves, but also for those whom they lead. A husband will be held accountable for his wife, and a father will be held accountable for his children to a certain degree. Anyone in a leadership position will be held accountable for their methods, attitudes, decisions and actions that were performed while stewarding a flock of followers. Having someone in your life to guide, mentor and keep you accountable for your actions is far more wise than taking the risk of faltering in this mortal life and answering for it in the life (or death) beyond this one (James 3:1).
Noah committed himself to the Lord’s will by building the ark for an estimated 55-75 years (Genesis 5-10). Moses was committed to wandering in the wilderness for 40 years to lead the Israelites to the Promised Land (Deuteronomy 29:5). Job was committed to fearing and serving the Lord regardless of his afflictions (James 5:11). We too need to commit to our work as unto the Lord and in accordance with His will just as these men of scripture have done. Then we too will see the good fruits (Proverbs 16:3). Moses was a leader of a nation and his commitment to the Lord’s calling in his life made him a successful leader.
Leadership is a difficult characteristic to live out because it necessitates ongoing conscious action. You cannot lead if you are going with the flow. You cannot lead by being tossed about by the waves. Leading requires direct action and intervention into the events, circumstances and opportunities that we are presented within our lives and the lives of those who we lead (Ephesians 5:15, Proverbs 10:5).
Since leadership is such an intentional act, it is better to start when you are young and your leadership responsibility is still limited. This allows you to learn how to be a leader while the risks are still relatively low. Being a leader when you are young does not mean that you need to muster the troops (friends) in an unordinary and ridiculous fashion. Leading when you are young simply means first taking the lead in your own life and leading by your example. If you have dreams and aspirations and goals (you can't say you don't), then place the responsibility of accomplishing those dreams and goals in your own hands. Begin with working on being responsible, accountable, committed and intentional in all aspects of your life, today.