Dec 30, 2020
Written by Matt Fischer, CEO of Probitas Promotions
I want to start this blog post with a disclaimer:
I am NOT an expert on leadership
I am NOT a theologian.
I am a leader in many areas of my life and I am a Christian. Reading leadership books is a hobby of mine. I like to read about how great minds in this world navigated the organizations they were in charge of. If I can glean one or two points and add them to my daily leadership life I consider it a success.
When deciding to take the plunge and write something myself to define some aspect of great leadership, I decided to look at the person I consider to be the greatest leader (one could say Perfect leader) that ever lived - Jesus Christ. There are 3 points from His leadership style that can be used as examples that we can take every day with us to become better leaders.
Jesus was a capstone and cornerstone.
The capstone, traditionally, was a stone placed at the top of a pyramid or building, both signifying its completion and as protection for the walls below. Capstones were often considered the most important part of the building, and elaborately decorated to signify the culmination of the achievement.
As a leader the buck stops with us. Whether you run an organization of 10 or 10,000, anything good or bad that happens with your group reflects back on you. It is important to be strong in letting everyone who is under your leadership know that you are there for them. They also need to know that you are firm in what you believe and if there needs to be correction you will be just and swift.
The cornerstone (or foundation stone or setting stone) is the first stone set in the construction of a masonry foundation. All other stones will be set in reference to this stone, thus determining the position of the entire structure.
That buck that stops with us also starts with us. Our actions, what we do day in and day out, set the tone for everyone else. If you lead with integrity, kindness, love, and the like - your team has the best opportunity to do the same.
Jesus was a servant.
Mark 10:42-45 - Jesus summoned them and said to them, You know that those who are recognized as rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones make their authority over them felt. But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all. For the son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as ransom for many.
A servant is not a slave. Servants serve out of his or her own will. This service is an example to those he or she are serving. The outward sign of a servant may look like that of a slave, but remember that a servant has the free will to lower himself or herself. This person can best be described as humble. Humility is a great characteristic of this kind of leader - not bragging and always looking for ways to help others.
We have all had a “good boss” and a “bad boss”. Most of the stories we recall from that boss have to do with how we were treated. A story of the good boss usually recounts an act of kindness where they went out of their way to do something that was out of the ordinary for a person in their position. The story of the bad boss is quite the opposite. The boss is probably rude, demeaning and demanding.
Jesus is a Shepard
A shepherd has a staff and leads with their voice. Words trump violence. Sheep get to know their shepherd's voice. They trust that voice and they follow that voice. Sheep follow. If you are a good shepherd your sheep will follow you. This is because sheep don’t question, they don’t fight back and they like being in their crowd of fellow sheep. We as leaders need to follow the GOOD Shepherd. That Shepard is Jesus. We need to meet with Him daily through prayer, in His word and in communion with other followers of His. Doing that is the only way to truly lead your team to the best of your ability.
Now take a breath. While we are called to be like Jesus, as human beings we are fallible. We stumble and fall at times. However, Jesus is always there to help us get back up. We are called to do our best to be like Him and use Him as our example. If we can act like a capstone/cornerstone, lead as a servant and shepherd - God will do the rest. Where one from the outside may say there is a lot of pressure/responsibility, I feel like following these principles will give you an amazing amount of freedom.