There are far more things to be said about Jesus' remarkable leadership than any single article or book could possibly cover. I want to point out a few of the attributes and skills he demonstrated during his life in this world. These same skills and qualities are important for us all if we wish to succeed as leaders in any lasting way. Perhaps all of us would not be the perfect example of leadership, but all of us can make a serious effort toward approaching that great ideal.
Those leaders who have been most tragic in their impact on other people were tragic precisely because they lacked to almost any degree the qualities of the Man of Galilee. Where Jesus was selfless, they were selfish. Where Jesus was concerned with freedom, they were concerned with control. Where Jesus was concerned with service, they were concerned with status. Where Jesus met the genuine needs of others, they were concerned only with their own needs and wants. Where Jesus was concerned with the development of his disciples, they sought to manipulate others. Where Jesus was filled with compassion balanced by justice, they have so often been filled with harshness and injustice.
Jesus educated through his example. He said several times, "Come, follow me." His was a program of "do what I do," rather than "do what I say." His innate brilliance would have permitted him to put on a dazzling display, but that would have left his followers far behind. He walked and worked with those he was to serve. His was not a long-distance leadership. He was not afraid of close friendships; he was not afraid that proximity to him would disappoint his followers. The leaven of true leadership cannot lift others unless we are with and serve those to be led.
Jesus operated from a base of fixed principles or truths rather than making up the rules as he went along. Thus, his leadership style was not only correct, but also constant. Because he loved others with a perfect love, he listened without being condescending. A great leader listens not only to others, but also to his conscience. Jesus saw sin as wrong but also was able to see sin as springing from deep and unmet needs on the part of the sinner. This permitted him to condemn the sin without condemning the individual. We can show forth our love for others even when we are called upon to correct them. We need to be able to look deeply enough into the lives of others to see the basic causes for their failures and shortcomings.
Jesus' leadership was selfless. He put himself and his own needs second and ministered to others beyond the call of duty, tirelessly, lovingly, and effectively. His leadership emphasized the importance of being discerning with regard to others, without seeking to control them. He cared about the freedom