Knowing which alliances to make and which to stay away from will have a tremendous impact on a leader’s success. Read John 7:14-32.
Jesus went to Jerusalem for the Feast of Tabernacles, one of the religious feasts held each year to commemorate a great work of God. As Jesus was teaching in the temple the religious leaders were amazed and asked, “How did this man get such learning without having studied?” Jesus’ answer indicated He received His knowledge from God and that set off a firestorm that ended with people trying to seize Him and arrest Him. Jesus knew which alliances to build and which to oppose. He consistently gathered around Him sinners whose hearts were ready to change and consistently stood against the legalistic practices of the religious leaders.
Leaders are simply stewards of the resources God has given them. Read Luke 19:11-26.
During His public ministry Jesus often told stories that illustrated a principles for life. In one of these stories Jesus told about a landowner who, just prior to leaving on an extended trip, gave three men some funds to spend, save, or invest. Each had the freedom to use the money as they saw fit but each would be asked for an account of how they handled the money when the landowner returned. The landowner’s expectation was that these men would be stewards of the money he had given them and, in Jesus’ story, those who had been faithful stewards of the funds were rewarded for their efforts and those who did not steward the funds would be held accountable.
Even a negative example can teach leaders positive lessons. Read Luke 16:1-16.
As Jesus spoke with the crowd described in Luke 15:1-2, He told a perplexing story in chapter 16:1-13 that appeared at first glance to encourage dishonesty. Jesus’ real message is that Christian leaders should mimic the steward’s shrewdness, not his dishonesty. This story of the unrighteous manager teaches leaders lessons about shrewdness in business and a few subtle truths about leadership:
Competent leaders deserve and should insist on loyalty and commitment from their team. Read Luke 14:25-35.
During His three years of public ministry Jesus gave Himself wholly to His assignment from God and to His team. He demonstrated His ability, commitment, resourcefulness and intelligence in private settings, to the masses, and to the political and religious leaders of His day. Jesus’ example tended to drive the uncommitted away but attracted the committed. His passion to honor God and His competence in carrying out His assignment gained the trust, respect, loyalty and commitment of His team. Jesus never hesitated to tell His followers to count the costs of following Him because He wanted their all or nothing.
Wise leaders know that before demanding high levels of commitment, they must demonstrate a level of competence. Competence is required to gain the trust and respect of their team. John Maxwell discusses competence in a note in The Maxwell Leadership Bible:
Competence goes beyond words. It’s the leader’s ability to say it, plan it, and do it in such a way that others know you know your business – and know that they want to follow you. Competence must be sought at every organizational level. Incompetence can be tolerated nowhere, John Gardner once wrote, “The society which scorns excellence in plumbing because plumbing is a humble activity and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an exalted activity will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy. Neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water.”
Once a leader has demonstrated competence they must identify what it is within their organization that is worthy of their team’s commitment. I personally have found that rather than asking the question, “How do we get commitment?” it is better to ask, “To what or to whom are we committed?” No matter how competent the leader, until their team understands what they are doing that is worthy of commitment it will feel shallow to the team to be asked for commitment. For the Christian leader, when their organization’s goals and outcomes are properly related to God and the organization’s activities honor Him, commitment will make sense to the team.
Jesus said that His team’s love for Him needed to be so great that all other human relationships would pale by comparison. While it is true that only Jesus would qualify for that kind of devotion, leaders can learn from Jesus’ example and should not hesitate to ask their team to count the costs of being on the team so they can chose to get on board or leave for a cause and leader they can commit to wholeheartedly.
Job 11:13-15 “Yet if you devote your heart to Him and stretch out your hands to Him, If you put away the sin that is in your hand and allow no evil to dwell in your tent, then you will lift up your face without shame; you will stand firm and without fear.”
Have you found leadership difficult because you have not established your credibility with your team? (203-1)
The wise leader recognizes the need to establish their credibility. Read Luke 1:1-4.
Luke was a doctor and companion of the apostle Paul on several missionary journeys. He was not one of Jesus’ 12 disciples. To the best of our knowledge he was not an eyewitness of Christ’s day-to-day ministry and he was not a theologian, yet he wrote one of only 66 books that are part of the Bible. Rather than launching in to his account of the Gospel without an introduction, Luke made certain his readers knew why he chose to write his account of Jesus’ life and that his account of Jesus’ life was based on historically verifiable information. Luke understood and acted on the leadership principle of establishing credibility for his message.