The wise leader understands that learning is a process. Read John 6:25-59.
In John 6:1-15 Jesus demonstrated His miraculous power by multiplying a few loaves of bread and some small fish to feed around 5,000 people. Through this miracle Jesus created a learning environment for His disciples to understand an even deeper truth about His mission. A note in The Leadership Bible by Zondervon puts it this way:
“Jesus knew that His followers would have trouble grasping the significance of His divine nature and His life-changing message. The miracle of the feeding of the five thousand and others demonstrated His supernatural power and comprised the disciples’ first loop of learning. The next day He helped them process the message behind the miracle with the second loop when He said, “I am the bread of life.” As the five loves and two small fish provided life for those who had eaten them, so Jesus would give eternal life to all who would receive Him.”
Ultimately a leader’s credibility comes from results. Read John 5:1-14.
As a Jewish man Jesus obeyed the established requirements of the faith to travel to Jerusalem to celebrate specific feasts. On one such trip He went to a pool near the Sheep Gate where people who were blind, lame and paralyzed came to be healed. While talking to the crowd Jesus encountered a man who had been an invalid for 38 years. Jesus healed him and sent him home. Because Jesus healed this man on the Sabbath, a day set aside for rest, the religious leaders were angry with Jesus. Normally the religious leaders could have discredited Jesus but because Jesus got results. He continued to gain credibility and His influence grew as God’s anointed leader.
To truly have influence, a leader must be able to communicate vision and then translate that vision into action. Read John 4:27-35.
Jesus was traveling through a region known as Samaria on His way to Galilee in northern Israel. The people living in Samaria were hated by the Jews because of the way they had twisted God’s commands. Jesus was physically drained from the trip and sent His disciples to purchase some food while He rested near a well. As the disciples were returning with the food they saw Jesus talking with a Samaritan woman, something no Jewish man would ever do. Jesus knew from His conversation with the woman how hungry the people were for spiritual truth and in verse 35 Jesus told His disciples, “I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.” Jesus’ actions and words communicated a greater vision of His mission statement and His Father’s will to His disciples.
Effective leaders are not aloof but connect with the people in their sphere of influence. Read John 4:1-26.
Do you have trouble connecting with your team? John Maxwell discusses what he calls “The Law of Connection” from this passage where Jesus connects with a woman from Samaria and changes an entire city.
We don’t even know her name. Other Jews wouldn’t even speak with her. Yet because Jesus was different, He spoke with this Samaritan woman – a snubbed gender within a despised race. Through this personal connection, God reached an entire city. We learn at least eight principles from Jesus’ leadership in John 4:
- Leaders initiate contact (vv1-7). Jesus spoke first. He didn’t isolate Himself even from “undesirables.”
- Leaders establish common ground (vv. 7-8). He connected with her about a familiar interest: water.
- Leaders listen and allow others to speak (v. 9). He knew people like to hear their own voices most of all.
- Leaders arouse interest (v10-15). Jesus built a verbal bridge by making her thirsty for something more than water.
- Leaders take others only so far as they are ready to go (vv. 16-19). Jesus knew He mustn’t go too far. He said enough to make her hungry for more.
- Leaders accept others where they are (vv17, 18). Jesus knew her lifestyle, but never condemned her for it.
- Leaders stick with the key issues (vv. 20-24). He didn’t allow her to get distracted. He wouldn’t divert the focus from the real issue.
- Leaders communicate issues directly and simply (vv. 25-26). Jesus revealed His identity in clear and simple terms.
In your everyday leadership style do you tend to avoid people or connect with people? Jesus, the only perfect leader to ever live, modeled a leader that connected – even with a person others avoided at all costs.
Effective communication is critical for every leader. Read John 3:16-18.
Jesus was able to capture the essence of His mission on earth in approximately 75 words. In fact the first 25 or 26 words of His mission statement have been memorized and can be quoted by millions of Christians even today. Jesus was so effective in the communication of His mission that most people, even those who are not close followers of Jesus, don’t even have to see the actual words but only the reference title of John 3:16 to recall Jesus’ mission. Effective leaders understand the value in developing their communication skills.