Today let’s look at some very common but false correlations about Jesus and leadership “techniques.”
“Your level of success will always be determined by who you surround yourself with.”
Jesus surrounded himself with common people, men who worked down at the docks, the outcast (lepers) and morally corrupt (adulterous woman), financially questionable (tax collectors) and those who ultimately betrayed him. His most vocal criticism was, in fact, for the leaders of the day – the educated, respected, knowledgeable, professionals. (Otherwise known as the Pharisees.) The leadership goal of acquiring influence says to surround yourself with successful people, but this was arguably not Jesus’ example.
“Build the right team. Jesus changed the world with only 11 guys. Who are the people around you that can help you do the same?”
Well first, technically there were 12 guys, and I guess the one who conveniently gets left out is Judas because we don’t know quite what to do with him and besides, what kind of leader would have someone in his inner circle who would completely betray him? Except that Jesus did. The other 11 whined, argued, complained, failed, fell asleep on the job and also betrayed. And by the way, it wasn’t until Jesus died that they actually caught fire with a grand passion for the mission. Most leaders don’t really think that all the way through…
Jesus recognized the potential in his “leaders” and cultivated it to support his plan and the needs of the “organization.”
Jesus sees the potential in every person – great or small – because he knows who God created us to be. He doesn’t call us to a plan, and he certainly doesn’t need whatever we think we have to accomplish his purposes. He wants us to become more like him. And this can become dangerously blurred for today’s leader, who may see this as something to emulate. Today’s leader has the responsibility to organize and direct people not to his own leadership goals, but to Jesus, and to lead them in how to be more like Christ. To that end, he should lead in laying down his life, denying himself, (and his gifts, even leadership) becoming last, and being the servant of all, as Christ clearly taught.