Great Leaders See People Not as They Are but As They Can Be
Peter was the man who would deny Jesus before a little girl but Jesus looked past that to see the man who would preach a single message that would bring three thousand souls into the kingdom in one day. And so, Jesus said, “thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church.”
The lesson here is this; Great leaders see people not as they are but as they can be. When great leaders look at people, they see potential! Great leaders see people as they can be. Anybody can see a person as they are but it takes a great leader to see what they can become. Great leaders see the potentials in those they lead. And great leaders work tirelessly to develop those potentials. As a leader, it is imperative that you see and develop potential in those you lead.
Prayer: Father, help me to see and develop potential in those I lead.
Jesus chose Peter to succeed Him. He also equipped Peter so well that Peter did greater things than Jesus had done in His lifetime, with the evidence not only in Scriptures but all around us today. The Bible says, “And Jesus answered and said unto him…. That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
The lesson here is this; A great leader will pass on the baton. Succession is a vital part of leadership and great leaders know this, so they begin early to prepare their successor. It is not enough to lead people in your vision while you are alive, you must be able to transfer the vision to others who will keep it alive long after you are gone. This is the true test of leadership and in this regard, many leaders fail. If a leader does not pass on the baton, he has failed in this aspect of leadership. If he passes on the baton to a successor who cannot take the vision forward, he has also failed in this aspect of leadership. To be truly successful, a leader must pass the baton on; and to one he has equipped to successfully run with it. Anything short of this is failure. No matter how great a leader is in his lifetime, if his vision dies with him, then he wasn’t a great leader. A leader’s success is measured by how well those who succeed him carry the vision to the next generation.
Leaders Are Like Magnets and They Attract to Themselves the Very People They Are Called to Serve
The Bible says, “And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples. And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners? But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”
The lesson here is this; Leaders are like magnets and they attract to themselves the very people they are called to serve. No leader is sent to everyone. But every leader carries a vision for a specific group of people. Usually, leaders find that they easily attract those that they are called to serve. This was true in the ministry of Jesus and He was very often found in the company of those He came to serve. He knew He was there to serve them and so when the Pharisees accused Him of eating with those they described as publicans and sinners, He was not the least bit apologetic. He knew His place; He knew His target audience and stayed put. A leader who is all over the place trying to be everything to everyone will be spread out too thin to make any impact on anyone. The leader who will make a mark must identify those to whom he is sent. And he does this by observing the kind of people he attracts to himself. Who are they and what do they have in common?
Prayer: Father, connect me to those I am called to serve.
Good Leaders Have a Reward Arrangement for Their Followers
The Bible says, “Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.”
The lesson here is this; Good leaders have a reward arrangement for their followers. Jesus had a reward system in place for His disciples. I find that many leaders have a discipline system in place for their followers but no reward system. This is wrong. This tells me that the leader has no confidence in his people to behave until they are punished. A reward system is a demonstration of the leader’s belief in his people to behave. He trusts that they will deliver and so he makes plans to reward them. This is good leadership. And for such a leader, his people usually live up to his expectations. However, with a bad leader, there is no reward system in place, just a discipline system. He expects that his people will always misbehave and need to be punished and they usually live up to his expectations. They are tardy on the job, fail to deliver and constantly need to be disciplined. Perhaps, such a leader should discard the discipline system and replace it with a reward system. The disciples followed Jesus till the end because they were excited about the reward at the end of the journey. And all who are Christians follow Jesus for the same reason, we want the reward that awaits us at the end of our journey.
When Jesus heard that John had been killed, He went away to a desert place and the Bible records that multitudes followed after Him. They left the city and followed Him to the desert.
The lesson here is this; There is no hiding place for a good leader. Like the gold fish, a good leader has no hiding place. The reason for this is simple; people will go to the ends of the earth to have their problems solved. And the leader who demonstrates the ability to do this effectively, will discover that no matter where he goes, people will follow. If people are not following you or seeking you, it is not because of your location, it is simply because you have nothing to offer them. When you do, they will look for you.
Without any doubt, Jesus is the greatest leader that ever walked the face of the earth and currently has the greatest followership on the earth. So, you will agree with me that when He speaks, one should pay attention. Now, Jesus said, “Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone.”
The lesson here is this; Death to self is the beginning of true greatness. Unless you die to self, and die to your needs, you will never amount to much. Every great man and woman knows this. Look at the life of any great leader you know, beginning with Jesus, and you will discover that the one thing they had in common was selflessness. They died to self, in a bid to serve others, and they rose to a greatness even they could not comprehend. They became global figures, and forces to be reckoned with. Those who constantly look at their own needs will live needy all their days. But those who can put aside their needs and focus on lifting people around them, will discover that not only will their needs be met but they will gain influence and affluence along the way. You want to be great? Then die to self.
If The Leader Does Not Know His Vision, The People Will Give Him Another.
One day, Jesus performed a great miracle by feeding over five thousand with a little lad’s lunch of five loaves and two fishes and suddenly the people recognised that He was the messiah. But it didn’t end there. They were going to take Him by force and make Him a king, so He fled. Now, there is nothing wrong with being a king but that would have been a huge distraction and taken Him off course.
The lesson here is this; If the leader does not know his vision, the people will give him another. Leaders must take heed that they do not allow anyone, and especially those that they serve, lead them astray by giving them a vision that looks like theirs but will ultimately lead to their destruction. Set your vision before you always and let it be your guide what to accept and what to reject. All things may be lawful but not all things are expedient.
Prayer: Father, give me the grace to pursue my vision without giving in to distractions.
Great Leaders Do Not Seek Fame, But as They Serve People, Fame Pursues and Overtakes Them.
The Bible says, “And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people. And his fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatick, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them. And there followed him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judaea, and from beyond Jordan.”
The lesson here is this; Great leaders do not seek fame, but as they serve people, fame pursues and overtakes them. Jesus was not seeking to be famous. He just wanted to serve people. A few times He healed people and told them not to mention it to anyone. However, we see that as He pursued His vision, He quickly became famous. In addition, as His fame spread, His influence grew immensely. Suddenly, He had great multitudes of people following Him of their own volition. You don’t achieve this with a title or position!
Prayer: Father, give me the grace to serve humanity.
A Bad Leader Will Keep His Title and Position Even If He Must Commit Mass Murder.
When the wise men failed to return to Herod, and inform him of the location of the young child, Jesus, Herod decided to find the child himself and destroy him. His guess work attempt to eliminate Jesus, led to the mass murder of countless children from two years old and under. Unknown to him, the child he sought to kill had fled and was hiding in Egypt.
The lesson here is this; A bad leader will keep his title and position even if he must commit mass murder. He killed a great number of children for nothing, and in the process brought untold sorrow to their families and the entire community. These people looked to Herod, as their leader, to protect them from harm but he destroyed them in a bid to secure his position. His leadership position was far more important to him than the lives of those he led. The truth is this; a bad leader does not love people. A bad leader loves things and sacrifices people to get them, or keep them.
Prayer: Father, help me to understand that the rise of another does not mean my downfall.
Bad Leaders Are Always Troubled at the Emergence of a Great Leader.
The wise men were excited at the birth of Jesus. When they shared the news of His birth with Herod, there was a different response. Herod was far from thrilled; he was disturbed. The Bible says, “Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.”
The lesson here is this; Bad leaders are always troubled at the emergence of a great leader. Bad leaders are usually insecure people and believe that the rise of another must necessarily mean their downfall. They are threatened when they see others rise and will do everything in their power to bring them down. Herod was not only disturbed at the birth of Jesus; he was determined to kill the young child.
Prayer: Father, help me to understand that the rise of another does not mean my downfall.