Leading as Jesus Did
Do you need to improve your effectiveness as a leader?
Seek Biblical principles of relationships
Start with how you build and sustain relationships. The Bible is the Book of relationships. From Genesis all the way to the book of Revelation, the Bible speaks about the relationships with God and with one another. Therefore, as Christian leaders, it is very important for us to seek the Biblical principles of relationships.
Long before modern psychologists flooded the world markets with books on influencing human behavior, Jesus Christ showed, by precept and example, how to be a great leader. His example leaves His followers a rich legacy in the field of personal relations.
Follow the Steps of Jesus
The secret of a successful relationship is found in Peter’s first epistle: “After all, God chose you to suffer as you follow in the footsteps of Christ, who set an example by suffering for you" (1 Peter 2:21, CEV).
- Jesus identified Himself closely with the interest and the needs of others: Jesus mingled with people. Jesus drew people to Himself because He took a personal interest in them. He associated Himself with the hopes, joys, and problems of their everyday lives. They longed to be in His company, for He made it evident that He found pleasure in being with them.
- Jesus sought to avoid giving offense. Jesus knew that words have power. Ellen White says that, “In every gentle and submissive way, Jesus tried to please those with whom He came in contact” (Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 85).
- Jesus drew people to Himself by being friendly. Jesus loved people. When Jesus met a rich young ruler whom He longed to lead into His kingdom, the Bible says,” Jesus looked steadily at him, and His heart warmed toward him” (Mark 10:21, Phillips). Jesus drew men to Himself by His friendliness.
- Jesus was thoughtful of the feelings of others. Jesus was sensitive to people’s needs. By studying the life of Jesus, we learn how He gave the people around him something to eat when they were hungry. He allowed the disciples rest when they were tired. When they were disheartened, He encouraged them; and when they were grieving, He spoke words of comfort to them. In every need, the Master was thoughtful of the feelings of His associates.
Do you want to be a successful leader as well as a healthy leader?
Have good relationships with everyone (including with your subordinates that may come from diverse backgrounds), instead of only a few favorites. Remember, in order to achieve goals and get results, successful leaders must learn to manage relationships effectively.
Adapted from General Conference Women's Ministries Leadership Certification training, Level 4, "The Nature of Relationship in Leadership" by Dr. Kathleen Kuntaraf