Jesus was a great leader. CEOs and business owners would do well to study the leadership principles of Jesus. I believe that there are five important leadership lessons every CEO could learn from Jesus.
Principle #1 – Don’t be afraid to invest in a few key people. Sometimes it is easy to think that more people means better leadership. That is far from the truth. Jesus was very strategic with whom He spent his time and energy. Yes, He spoke to the crowds, but His best and most important teachings were to just 12 disciples. Sometimes if we spend our time with less people we actually get more results.
Principle #2 – Realize that your time will come to an end. It is easy for the leader to think that they will last forever. The reality is that is not true. Steven Covey famously taught to “begin with the end in mind.” What he didn’t state was that we will all end. Jesus in His leadership prepared his followers to continue on after He had left. In fact, the organization that Jesus started (the church) went on to see its biggest growth and success after Jesus left this earth. CEO’s would be wise to practice the art of leaving long before they leave an organization.
Principle #3 – Look for good people everywhere. Jesus found followers from every walk of life. He enlisted fishermen, tax collectors, the outcast of society, women, children, and the aged. The best leaders look for the best leaders to join their organization from every walk of life. They never stop recruiting. They have eyes to see people in every situation who might help them take their organization to the next level.
Principle #4 – Take time to be alone. One of the most fascinating facts about Jesus’ leadership is the amount of time He went off to be by himself. What is amazing is the reality that He only had three years to teach, heal, and train his disciples. Even in the midst of great urgency to get things done, He took time to be by himself. This time alone is beneficial for rest and renewal. It is also helpful in casting vision and determining the next best steps for the organization. Here is a fact: leaders that do not take time to be by themselves will burn out.
Principle #5 – Live according to key values. Jesus was a principled centered leader. He taught and lived by key principles or core values. He embodied values like; (1) Go the second mile; (2) Bless those that curse you; (3) Be the light of the world; (4) Build on a solid foundation; and (5) Do not worry. If you are going to be a successful leader you have to know the core values that motivate you and keep you on the right track.
I believe that Jesus was the greatest leader of all time. He accomplished more with so much less that thousands of years after He has left this earth we are still talking about Him. Today, every CEO should seek to learn the lessons of leadership of Jesus.