When a leader has the respect of their team, their team will accept their vision. Read John 2:1-11.
A number of men, some of whom would eventually become part of His inner circle of 12 Apostles, had joined Jesus in His mission even before His first public miracle at a wedding feast in Cana of Galilee. These men were committed to Him and left their profession and accompanied Him as He traveled around northern Israel, but, according to verse 11, it was after He turned the water into wine that “His disciples put their faith in Him.” An important leadership principle is, “When a team trusts in a leader’s credibility, they will believe in that leader’s vision.”
A leader’s priorities can keep the good from becoming the enemy of the great. Read Luke 12:13-21.
Jesus’ words were so life changing that people followed Him where ever He went. At times the audience asked Him questions which triggered His teaching on a specific topic. At other times someone in the crowd would ask Jesus to use His authority to resolve a situation. On one such occasion someone in the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” Jesus did not give the man advice on how to resolve his situation with his brother but Jesus addressed the real issue that would affect the rest of the man’s life, the man’s priorities.
As important as success, security, and significance are there is something far more meaningful. It is possible for a leader to achieve their wildest dreams for success and significance and still lose everything in the end. This does not mean success, security and significance are always bad but according to Jesus’ story there is a danger if these priorities dominate a leader’s thoughts and actions. Matthew 16:26 says, “What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul.”
The way Jesus’ story ended warned against the attitude of greed and pointed out the futility of priorities that are not in line with God’s will. For Christian leaders the highest priority should be to bring recognition, glory, and honor to God rather than just pleasure to themselves. First Corinthians 10:31 says, “So whatever you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” When a leader has that purpose in mind their priorities tend to sort themselves, and bring focus on what will bring the greatest recognition to God.
Write down your top five life priorities. How many of them focus exclusively on your personal benefit or gain? How many of your top five priorities focus on bringing glory to God (even if you do not receive financial gain or recognition)? Wise leaders can learn from Jesus’ teaching and discern bad priorities from good priorities from great priorities.
True empowerment pairs increased responsibility with increased authority to get the job done. Read Mark 3:13-19.
Jesus deliberately chose twelve for His leadership team from several hundred close followers. Verses 14 and 15 say, “He appointed twelve – designating them apostles – that they might be with him and that He might send them out to preach and to have authority to drive out demons.” Jesus carefully selected mature or rapidly maturing leaders, gave them a title, responsibilities, and the authority to complete the task. True empowerment always includes the authority to fulfill the responsibilities of the job assignments.
Excellent leaders understand how to prepare their team and organization for change. Read Mark 1:1-8.
All human history was about to change as Jesus, God’s promised Messiah, prepared to start His public ministry in Israel. God assigned John the Baptist the task of preparing the way for this unprecedented change. As we know today, Jesus was very different than anyone expected and John had a major task to get the people ready for this radical shift in expectations.
Do you help your team to see what effect their actions may have on the organization as a whole? (192-4)
Effective leaders do their best to produce and facilitate systems that work together. Read Matthew 12:22-32.
As Jesus continued to demonstrate supernatural power, He healed a man who was demon-possessed, blind and mute. When the religious leaders heard of what had been done they accused Jesus of being a devil to have the power to cast out a devil. Jesus’ comment to this accusation was that “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand” (v. 25). Expanded only slightly, any kingdom or organization, or business, or church or family divided against itself will fall. This is true because all the various parts of an organization affect each other.