Become A Jesus-like Leader
With those two simple words, Jesus transformed the lives of His disciples and ultimately changed the world. Leaders, by definition, have followers. As one wise commentator put it, if no one is following you, you're not leading- you're just taking a walk."
What made Jesus the greatest impacter of people and nations the world has ever known? As I've studied the New Testament with this question in mind, I've identified a number of attributes that made him the powerful leader He was. Here are nine of the most important ones along with some thought-provoking questions you can ask yourself-
1. A Sense of Destiny - One of the hallmarks of the life of Jesus was the clear sense of destiny that rings in His words and shines through His actions. His success as a leader came, in part, through His ability to instill that same sense of destiny in others. Are you living out of a sense of destiny? And is it visible to those you lead?
2. A Person of Action - "Don't just stand there. Do something." When you have leadership responsibility, it's all too easy to become frozen in indecision. Some have called it "the paralysis of analysis." Jesus clearly never suffered from this malady. Jesus was a man of action. He spoke when words were necessary. He intervened when intervention was called for. With purpose and focus He did what needed to be done. In what situation that currently has you paralyzed is action needed? Be a person of action.
3. Visibility - The invisible man would never have made an effective leader. You can't exercise influence if you're never seen nor heard. The willingness to be visible is another one of Jesus' powerful keys to leadership. Our Lord spoke from mountaintops and boat bows. He shouted in crowded streets and busy synagogues. He was willing to stand out in a crowd and be a lightening rod for criticism. As Jesus said, a light belongs on a lamp stand, not under a basket. What can you do to increase your visibility as a leader?
4. Unconditional Love - Do you need to be a more effective influence on those around you? You'll find your ability to lead others soaring when they know you love them unconditionally. Jesus experienced rejection, criticism and even betrayal, but His acceptance of others was unwavering. When those you lead know your acceptance and care won't be withdrawn when they make a mistake or disagree, you'll find them responding to your leadership as never before. Do your people sense your unconditional acceptance?
5. Duplication - How many leaders are confident enough to encourage their subordinates to surpass them? Jesus was just such a leader. He once told His disciples, "Greater things than I have done, you shall do." The goal of Jesus' leadership was to duplicate Himself in those under His care ... to raise up others who could carry on His mission. Wise leaders follow this pattern but the insecure find this impossible. Are you secure enough in your place at the head table to duplicate yourself?
6. Transparency - Does being a leader mean never allowing anyone to see your mistakes, weaknesses or fallibilities? Many people seem to think so, but one of Jesus' leadership secrets was His willingness to be transparent before His disciples. The fact is, Jesus was the first perfect person to ever walk the earth and the people you're trying to lead don't expect you to be the second one. A willingness to engage in some self-disclosure creates an atmosphere of trust and honesty. What are the obstacles keeping you from being a more transparent leader?
7. Accountability - There's a common thread that runs through Jesus' parables. Especially those concerning delegated authority and money. That thread is "accountability." In the stories Jesus told, people are held accountable for the diligence they apply and the results they produce. Great leaders follow this pattern. They hold people accountable for that which has been entrusted to them. Accountability is not about assigning blame. It's about helping people grow. Do those you lead feel accountable or have they learned that a day of reckoning never comes?
8. Setting the Example - Employee manuals and policy handbooks do not create a corporate culture. The atmosphere in a business or a home is most strongly influenced, not by what the leader says, but by what the leader does. Jesus recognized the power of setting the right example. When a leader demands punctuality but chronically arrives late for meetings, he sends a mixed message that will poison the attitudes of those he is trying to influence. What kind of 'by example' training will the people around you receive today?
9. Praying for Them - There is a remarkable passage in the seventeenth chapter of John in which Jesus vividly demonstrates one of the most powerful of His leadership secrets. What do we find Jesus doing there? Praying for His followers. Whether you're a leader of a corporation or a cub scout pack, there are few things you can do that will have a greater impact on your organization. How would your organization or family change if you spent as much time praying for your people as you do mulling over the latest budgets?
Can you cultivate these nine attributes in your life? Absolutely! If you are a Christian, Jesus is in you (John 6:56). You have the mind of Christ (I Cor. 2-.16). Simply begin by having the courage to honestly evaluate where you are today, then make a quality decision to cooperate with the Spirit of God to bring the appropriate changes to your heart, to your thinking and to your habits.
Begin your journey to becoming a Jesus-like leader today!
Make Today Count,