By Mathias Luka Agbu
The reality is all of us are leaders. So, as you lead, who is your role model?
I feel the greatest leadership role model of all time is Jesus. Jesus definition of a leader is found in Mk 10:45. “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”-Mark 10:45 Leadership happens anytime we influence thinking, behavior, or development of another person.
Being a leader is all about having a genuine willingness and a true commitment to lead others to achieve a common vision and goals through positive influence. No leader can ever achieve anything great or long-lasting all alone.
Just because someone has the title of leader, does not mean they are a leader. The greatest reflection on a leader being a true leader is whether they are influencing anyone. The first place you will see that is in the leader’s people.
An organization or an institution is only as great as its people. If the people are not following, the leader is not leading. Our society and the world are in desperate need of a leadership role model.
The most important thing in leadership is the leader; the most important part of the leader is his or her heart; and the most important connection to a leader’s heart is God. The heart of leadership is serving others first, before yourself. The problem is that most organizations or churches operate from a hierarchical leadership structure.
Leaders “move up” the ladder in an organization or an institution, and, once there, they see themselves “above” their team. Most people do not equate leadership to service. Rather than exhibiting humility, influence and meeting people where they are, too many leaders think being a leader means power and authority.
If your personal gain continually outweighs your desire to serve others, you are lacking the very heart of leadership – and that can be a problem – for you, your church, your organization, your family and, ultimately, your success.
The Jesus model of Leadership makes us believe that real, lasting change starts on the inside. When a leader chooses to allow Jesus to transform him or her from the inside out, that decision will influence everyone and everything that the leader influences. You cannot adopt the Jesus leadership model without Jesus. Jesus is the only one who offers a model of leadership that is built on freedom and complete security in him and his power at work within us.
The Jesus model of Leadership frees us to reach heights of influence we never would be able to reach on our own. When we are free from pride and fear, free to humbly accept feedback and admit our mistakes, and strong enough to overlook offenses and forgive the errors of others, we can lead people and help them reach their full potential.
Leaders who adopt the Jesus model of leadership love those they influence so much that they help them get from where they are to where God would have them go. We have the perfect leadership role model in Jesus. We simply need to follow him and allow him to work in us and through us.
We cannot think of any leadership attribute that Jesus did not model for everyone as he trained his disciples. The Jesus model of leadership is a love-based leadership. God expect the primary outcome of our leadership and influence to be showing people Jesus’ love.
The Jesus model of leadership is essentially a matter of the heart. People often see leadership based on an “it’s all about me” approach. Self-promotion(pride) and self-protection(fear) dominates today’s leadership style.
Many leaders act as if the sheep are there only for the benefit of the shepherd. Servant leadership is the only approach to leadership that Jesus validates for his followers. A servant leader’s focus is on serving others rather than serving themselves or being served by others.
A servant leader meets people where they are at so they can climb to the top alongside them rather than charging ahead. Servant leaders do not want to be successful all alone by themselves.
Servant leaders are looking to build a team and not an empire, because they know once they build the team, success follows. Servanthood is about attitude. As a leader, it is easy to get busy and forget about the people around you.
When was the last time you performed small acts of kindness for others? Start with those closest to you.
Find ways today to do small things that show other people you care. You will be amazed by the positive impact even the smallest act of kindness can have on someone. Spending time with people creates not only the desire to serve them, but the connection and know-how to serve them well.
In conclusion, if an attitude of servanthood is conspicuously absent from your life, the best way to change it is to start serving. Feelings will follow footsteps—if you will begin serving with your body, your heart will eventually catch up! Then, keep at it until your heart desires to serve others well