3 Simple Lessons From the Greatest Leader Ever

Jesus Leadership LessonsI’m out of town this weekend, so today’s post is a guest submission from Lee G Turley. Lee is a Nashville entrepreneur, writer, speaker, and consultant. You can read more about him below this post.

I can go ahead and sum this post up for you if you’re in a hurry: Religious or not, if you’re aiming to become a great leader you’d being doing yourself a disservice by not spending some time studying Jesus’ leadership style.

I don’t have to prove Jesus’ leadership qualities to you. By spending only a few years with a dozen close followers and being publicly visible to a very specific area of the world he was able to begin a movement that now has the largest following on earth!

Could you train a small team for a couple years, leave forever and expect them to develop your organization into a Fortune 500 company? There have been countless books written about the leadership styles of Jesus Christ. I’ve ready many of them but lately some new observations have been jumping out at me that I wanted to share.

Jesus chose disciples that he could teach.

His first followers (the 12 disciples) had no idea what they were doing.Truly. They didn’t make it to the college of their culture — during that time Jewish boys would study the Tora (Hebrew Bible) for all of their youth with the goal being to become a Rabi. But, to get there they would have to make it past several cuts and finally show enough promise for a Rabi to choose them as an apprentice of sorts.

The 12 were craft or tradesmen, meaning that they didn’t make the cut to become Rabi so they would typically go back to their family trade. There was nothing wrong with this career path but in those days it was much more respectable to follow the path of the Rabi.

Think Nobel Prize winner respect.

So, you can imagine the disciples’ excitement as Jesus (a Rabi) approached each and invited them to follow. What is of note here is that he did not choose the men who made the traditional Rabi cut. Jesus wanted men with the foundations only.

What implications does this have for us when we’re hiring, building, leading?

Jesus was a man of vision.

If you’re familiar with the story of Jesus, you know He died on a cross and then rose three days later. The shocking thing is that when Jesus died, His disciples went back to their regular lives.

Could you imagine? The most unbelievably remarkable person you’ve ever met dies one day and after you gave up every thing to follow Him what do you do… start fishing again? It’s comical even. However, once we look a little deeper at the story we see that Jesus’ death wasn’t the end of the story.

He hadn’t given them a calling or direction yet. They didn’t know that Jesus was there to create the Church and start the largest movement on earth! We would have done the exact same thing without fully understanding the “why” behind it all. Jesus didn’t pass on the fullness of this vision until He rose again.

If you want things to be bigger than you, have and share a vision often!

Jesus did not micromanage or spoon-feed.

When mentoring followers, Jesus used parables to indirectly convey meaning to those around him. He wanted them to find the answer themselves because the answer is not the point, the journey to it is. Jesus was a master of the question and often mysterious, not because He could be but because hearing wasn’t enough — people needed to think to get it!

I think this is one of the hardest skill of leadership because leaders inherently don’t want to let go of the reigns. It is not easy to restrain oneself from giving the answer or have the foresight to realize that they need to and will find their own answers. The most effective leaders are much more hands-off than one would think. Are you intentionally honing the fine line of leading and spoon-feeding?

What have you learned about leadership from Jesus?

Lee is passionate about serving others by building life changing organizations and writing/speaking/consulting on the importance of searching out true fulfillment and satisfaction for our lives, businesses, and clients. You can find more insight on life and leadership from Lee at http://LeeGTurley.com and connect with him on Twitter @LeeGTurley.


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