Leadership has become a mainstream economy unto itself. Billions of dollars are spent across almost every genre of work attempting to equip people to lead more effectively, or more efficiently, or more lovingly, or more…on and on and on!
I’ve read hundreds of books on leadership and I’ve spoken at hundreds of leadership conferences. After years of investing in “the best way to lead, ” I’ve come to the conclusion that the single greatest leadership model is the Lord Jesus, and the single greatest leadership book is actually 66 books placed together to be known as The Bible.
Here are FOUR EXAMPLES of great leadership qualities that apply to every single one of us. If you are a hard charger in a start-up, these work for you. If you are a broker or V.P. in a large firm, these work for you. If you are leading a family, band, team or class, these all apply to you. Here you go – FOUR BIBLICAL EXAMPLES OF GREAT LEADERSHIP:
Noah: Leaders do what’s right even if they are alone in the certainty.
In Genesis 6, God is sad and disappointed about the wickedness that has overtaken humanity. Reluctantly, He decides to wipe out the human race and start from scratch. Noah, however, is the only dude who has been good enough to save. You know the story. God tells him to build an ark that will save him, his family, and animal life. As he is boarding the ark, God says to him, “for you alone, I have seen to be righteous before Me in this me.” Literally, the whole world was doing what was wrong. But did that stop Noah from doing what was right? Heck No! If you have spent time with the Divine and you know He has directed you to act – ACT! Don’t delay and don’t tip-toe into obedience. Partial obedience equals total disobedience with the Divine!
Peter: Leaders recover from failure. This Guy Knew What it Was to Fail!
Peter, the most well-known disciple of Jesus, denies even knowing Him three times while Jesus is being crucified. Jesus had predicted he would do it, though Peter insisted he would never deny Jesus–even to the death. When the rooster crows (what Jesus said would happen), Peter realizes what he had done and cries bitterly. In Acts 2, we see Peter giving the first sermon after Jesus’s ascension into Heaven–to a crowd of thousands of people when he had previously denied Jesus in front of just a few days earlier. Leaders don’t become discouraged when they fail. They don’t sit around, sad in self-pity and give up due to the mistake! They pick themselves back up and plow on. Leaders suck it up and learn from their mistakes. They are better next time.
Abraham: Leaders welcome the unknown. They step out in faith!
God addresses Abraham in Genesis 12 and tells him to “Go forth from your country, and from your relatives and from your father’s house, to the land which I will show you.” In other words, Abraham is instructed to leave his comfort zone and head out into uncertainty. This was a day that people never ventured out more than about 3 miles from where they were born. As leaders, it can be hard to take a risk when we don’t know what is going to happen in the future! Solid leaders are okay with not knowing the future because they know the truth: the promised land awaits them. This is a prerequisite to great leadership – to hear from the Divine and act on it, even when you don’t know the final destination.
Joseph: Leaders bounce back from difficulty. They Finish the Drill!
As we pick up the story of Joseph in Genesis 37, we can see that he had a pretty tough life. He was sold into slavery by his brothers. His dad was told that he was killed by a wild animal. He was framed by his boss’s wife and was thrown into prison. He interpreted the dream of a prisoner who was released and restored to his position, but the dude forgot about him. But in the end, Joseph became the leader of all Egypt–second only to the Pharaoh. When there is a famine, he is then able to save his family from starvation. He tells his brothers when he sees them again that, though they meant to harm him, God made it happen so that Joseph was in a position to save them. Leaders have a vision that keeps them going through difficult times. They also don’t hold grudges and seek to vindicate themselves. Great leaders trust that God will settle all accounts for His glory and their good!David: Leaders are not afraid of giants
David: Leaders aren’t afraid of giants. They prepare with redundancy!
We all know this story. In 1 Samuel 17, the Israelites are being defeated by the Philistines and their 9-foot plus tall giant–Goliath. Goliath teases the Israelites and challenges them to send him one man and, if that man should defeat him, the Philistines would become their servants. David, a small shepherd boy who doesn’t even fit into the armor he is provided, says, “I’ll fight him!”. When Goliath curses and mocks David all the other dudes are shaking in their boots. But David says, “You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord.” He goes on to say that he is going to cut the giant’s head off! With that, he takes a stone, slings it at Goliaths forehead, and knocks the giant to the ground. In other words, you can face any challenge as long as you have are sure of what you believe in and stand strong. The Bible does say that David picked up 5 smooth stones. David must’ve been the first tactician to introduce redundancy into the fight! If you have made a mess of your life with a few sinful and poor decisions, take comfort, so did David, the man after God’s own heart!
There are plenty of other examples found across the pages of Scripture, the most significant being Jesus, Himself. He was so clear about leadership, that He defined what GREAT LEADERSHIP does – Great leaders serve!
Lead Well Today,