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.”
Skilled leaders know the importance of spending time with key followers, especially in the early stages of their time together. Read John 1:35-39.
When John the Baptist publicly recognized Jesus as the Lamb of God, two of his disciples heard him and followed Jesus. Jesus saw them following Him and invited them to come with Him and according to verse 39 they “spent that day with Him.” Jesus did more than spend time with these men; He opened Himself allowing them to have a relationship with Him.
Every leader, even those with great teams, will be alone and feel lonely in leadership. Read Luke 22:39-46.
Jesus has finished His final meal with His disciples and has crossed the valley to the Mount of Olives where He and His team will spend the night. When they arrive Jesus separates Himself “about a stone’s throw” from His team and begins to pray. It was during His time of prayer that Jesus faced some of the loneliest moments of His entire life. He knew it was just hours before He would be tried, convicted, tortured, and crucified. He also knew everyone on His team would desert Him and that He would spend hours on the cross where God would not look on Him as He took on the sin of all mankind in order to serve as the once-for-all sacrifice for the human sin condition.
Effective leaders handle conflicts personally, privately and with the spirit of forgiveness. Read Luke 17:3-10.
Jesus, knowing His disciples would soon have major leadership roles, continually taught principles that would make them more effective leaders. When He told them they should forgive a person who had wronged them, even if they wronged them seven times, as long as that person returned and ask for forgiveness, His disciples’ first thought was this may be too much and they would need more faith to accomplish the task. Jesus simply told His team their faith was sufficient and conflict resolution and forgiveness was part of a leader’s everyday job. Jesus was clear that a leader should not expect praise for doing what was an expected part of their leadership role.
The effective leader will profoundly affect the lives of their teammates. Read Luke 6:12-19.
Early in His public ministry Jesus selected a small team that He would invest in to develop as the church’s first leaders. In just a few short years from these verses in Luke 6, Jesus would delegate all the authority of His kingdom’s work to them. In less than one generation, this small group chosen by Jesus progressed from ignorant laborers to bold spiritual leaders in what is now the largest organization in the world. This all happened because Jesus, the Son of God, chose to invest the majority of His time with a few men, only 12, not 1,200 or 12,000 but 12. Jesus mentored these 12 and set an example that more time with less people can equal greater impact.