Leadership of Jesus
Tons and tons of material have been written concerning leadership. Some very great minds have classified leadership traits in a number of different ways, each having meaning and value to the topic. As leaders, we need to know what the literature has to say, to appropriate specific characteristics to our unique leadership style and become the best leader possible. Good leadership enhances production, develops high morale among staff and minimizes problems that come in the course of doing business.
We have provided and continue to provide seminars on leadership, have mentored individual leaders and have used various assessment instruments to determine individual leadership skills. If you are interested in some of those services, please contact me.
However, I would like to take a few minutes to see how the greatest leader of all times accomplished his job. I believe that if we can in even a small manner duplicate his style in our own lives, we would be better leaders tomorrow than we are today. Jesus, coming from a small town, having no university training, no computer technology, no internet resources formed a small group (call it a corporation, if you want), spent a few short years in moving his product, and in so doing completely changed this entire world forever. Nothing, absolutely nothing was the same after he was finished. His organization has grown and continues to grow today affecting the entire globe.
How did he do it? Yes, he is divine, God in the flesh, holy and with all the Godly attributes, but he did not use that to change the world, he used people. Those people were just like you and I. They were not holy, had all the emotions, failings, discouragement, physical ailments and problems you and I have as we live our lives. And yet, look at what has happened. The success of this small band of people was the direct result of their leader and his ability to lead. Do you want to know what leadership characteristics Jesus used and how we can apply them to our leadership roles? Let's take a few minutes to study his work.
Be uncommonly knowledgeable. First, it is necessary for the leader to have a strong knowledge base. We call it "knowing your stuff." There is no substitute for thoroughly understanding your product. This is a test that if you receive less than an A+ in it, you have flunked. You cannot be successful if your competitor knows more than you. Everything is a specialty, and since everything is in constant flux, a leader must keep current with all the aspects of the product, no matter what it is. The leader must be the expert. Jesus knew what his job was. He knew why he came to earth. He knew where he was headed, and he knew what the results of his work would be. Of course he was God, and God is omnipotent and omniscient. We are not, but the example is still there. Leaders MUST be fully knowledgeable in their field.
Be a visionary Next, Jesus had a vision. He said in John 4:34 that he came to do and finish the work of the Father who sent him. He said in the 17th chapter of John, verse 4 that he has finished the work the Father gave him to do. His vision was clear, it was to bring salvation into the world. He was focused on it, and everything he did was to accomplish his vision. Leaders remain focused on their vision.
Be an excellent teacher Jesus communicated his vision clearly to his disciples. He told them that he had come into the world that the world through him could be saved. He lived out his vision before the disciples so they knew what it was. Sometimes, they didn't get it. Even at the last supper, there was some confusion as to where Jesus was going and why couldn't the disciples go with him. A leader must have a clear vision, be focused on accomplishing it and communicate it well to his people. Remember, Proverbs 29:18 reminds us that where there is no vision, the people perish.
Be an astute recruiter Jesus surrounded himself with men he recruited. He had looked into their hearts and lives and had determined they would be the best he could find. Good leaders need to surround themselves with good people. They should not settle for mediocrity. Note the characteristics of the 12 disciples: they were loyal, trustworthy, could interact well with people, had enormous skills, were dedicated to the vision and mission of their leader, communicated well with Jesus and the team, worked well in the team, were not self serving and could work independently. These men were so dedicated to their mission that they were killed fulfilling it. Isn't it neat that Jesus' administrative team did not think of themselves more highly than they did of their leader? They were singular in following the strategic plan laid out for them.
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