Yahshua (Jesus Chhrist) exemplified how a good leader relates to those he is leading. He taught about this relationship using a metaphor of a sheperd and his sheep. He said, “And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice” John 10:4.
The first question therefore to a purported leader is what are your goals and objectives? A leader who is not aiming at something but is merely reacting to events as they unfold has for all purposes surrendered his leadership.
Qualities necessary for a good leader
A good leader will be visionary. He will know where he is going and the means to get to his destination. In other words he will have a vision of his destination. Solomon writes, “Where there is no revelation (vision) the people cast of restraint” Proverbs 29:18.
Revelation connotes understanding or knowledge and this comes through our relationship with God for “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge” Proverbs’ 1:7. Where there is ignorance of God, crime and sin run rampant. Both individuals and nations act without self control to their desires; they react to their want without considering the consequences.
A good leader will bring self control, discipline and order in people’s lives. By so doing the leader will guide people to their destination. If a leader lacks these attributes people will just react to anything and everything because there is no direction. A good example of a leader lacking in these attributes is King Saul. Saul had the tendency to act impulsively and overstep his boundaries.
He focused more on what the people wanted as opposed to what God instructed him to do and so failed in his leadership. Instead of leading the people he reacted to their fears and wants. A good leader will combine his love for the people he leads and also be goal oriented. In other words he must always ask whether his actions will lead to the vision or goal instead of reacting to anything that is thrown his way.
A good leader also has the ability to draw out the best out of people. He knows their weaknesses but also sees their potential and helps them to maximize it. He will use his influence to inspire others to become their best. Yahshua modeled to us how a good leader ought to interact with those under his domain in the way He interacted with His disciples. He knew their weaknesses but spoke to their ability to inspire them to aim high to achieve their Potential. He treated them the same but related to them differently thereby honoring their differences.
He saw Peter as the “rock” and spoke to his future. Mathew was the writer and Jesus called him from a career that was demeaning to do something that was more valuable to him and utilized his skills well. John the beloved was sensitive and Jesus dealt with him in the same way and indeed he ended up writing the best epistles on the issue of love as well as being entrusted with the revelation concerning the future.
A good leader leads by example and is not afraid to do the most menial work if it will teach others what is expected. Yahshua taught that a leader is a servant of others and should aim to serve not to “lord it over them”. Instead “—whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. For even the son of man did not come to be served but to serve” Mark 10: 42-44.
Christ went further to demonstrate this servant leadership by washing the feet of His disciple and afterwards said, “You call me teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. If I then your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you” John 13:13-15.
A bad leader on the other hand leads by manipulation, fear and intimidation. This kind of leader does not inspire those under him to grow or to become their best. In fact all they do is motivated by the fear of what is to happen if they do not do what the leader wants. This kind of leader is threatened by those he leads and will not encourage growth because he fears they may be better than him.
This leader has no vision and reacts to events according to his moods causing chaos and confusion amongst those he leads. He acts as if he is in competition with those he leads and may take on too much because he does not know how to delegate.
What is the source of a leader’s inspiration?
Inspiration means that which is breathed into life or to inflate with life. The source of leadership is inspiration and inspiration is breath from God to the soul. We talk of the word of God as being “inspired” meaning that God breathed into the word and gave it life. Scripture says that “the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit. And joint and marrow, and it is a discerner of the thought and intent of the heart” Hebrews 4:12.
Therefore, if you are inspired to start a company or ministry, we can assume that it is God who gives you the vision and inspires you to go forth. Your spirit becomes passionate about the inspiration to a point of being willing to die for it. When one becomes a leader according to God’s way, he becomes independent of people; in other words he is not validated by people’s opinion but by what inspires him.
Those who are leaders do not indentify with a job instead they look at their life or mission as their career. They refuse to enslave themselves to a job outside their mission but focus on their vision even if there is no recognition by others. Everyone has the potential of being a leader in the area of their calling or mission in life. However few will attain this because they have limited themselves to jobs with no meaning other than they pay the bills.
They have no vision because they are focused on surviving the now as opposed to living full life inspired by their vision. Someone once said that the richest place on earth is the graveyard, because most people die without ever having tapped into their vision. This truly is a tragedy.