|I believe that Jesus gives us an amazing template of what great leadership looks like.
This email is not to push my spiritual beliefs on you. I simply want to point out the principles that Jesus used to lead.
There are several principles that we can learn from when studying the leadership of Jesus.
- Jesus recognized surface problems but dealt with the root issue. Jesus was always getting to the heart of the matter. When we see an athlete or employee acting in a way that is out of character, just know that the actions are pointing to a deeper issue. That issue might be as simple as they are exhausted. It also might be more severe…problems at home, with a significant other, frustration with their role, identity crisis, etc. Notice the surface issue then get to the root issue.
- Jesus was present with people. Jesus was constantly bombarded with crowds of people wanting his time…sometimes they were in need of help and sometimes they were wanting to criticize. We see over and over again that he was present with these people. This is something we can learn from in our current world of constant distractions. Be present with people.
- Jesus consistently pulled away from crowds to slow down. I’m convinced that our best ideas, clearest vision and most productive days coincide with creating margin in our life. Jesus often slowed down and got away to just be (not do).
- Jesus asked questions…a lot! He often met a question with a question. In the Bible, Jesus was asked 183 questions, of those he answered 8 directly… but he asked 307 questions. One of the best ways to teach is to ask questions. We too often want to give information, counsel, or our opinion. Resist this and become a great question asker to help people figure things out on their own.
- Jesus told stories. He was constantly getting his point across with a story. We remember stories. We forget facts. If you want to make things stick, tell stories. If you want to inspire, tell stories.
- Jesus was direct but also uplifting. Jesus was a truth-teller but did it in ways that propelled people forward. We too need to shoot people straight and be really direct. By being direct in a way that propels people forward, we can earn respect, trust, and admiration. It helps no one when we tear people down while giving feedback.
- Jesus had a mission to accomplish and as he was on this mission, he developed and equipped people. Whether your mission is to win a championship or increase sales, your mission depends on developing people. We don’t want to just develop athletes or salespeople. In order to fulfill our mission, we must develop people holistically. Better people make better athletes/salespeople. (This quote is adapted from the All Blacks rugby team in New Zealand…”Better people make better All Blacks”!)
- Jesus really loved people. As a leader, our people are our greatest resource. This truth is often forgotten at the expense of programs, processes, and getting stuff done. There is nothing that creates loyalty and trust like really loving the people you are leading.