I was reflecting this week on how thankful I am for what Jesus did for me in sacrificing His life to go to the cross to endure the pain and suffering that I deserve, and carry out God’s plan to provide the promise of eternal salvation for His followers. During that reflection I thought it appropriate to illustrate a few points on how in my mind, Jesus was the ultimate model for servant leadership for us.
- Jesus had a clear purpose and vision
Servant leaders insure and communicate an organization’s purpose, vision, and values. They understand that compelling purpose leads to passion in the workplace. They recognize that they are submissive to, and are stewards of their purpose, vision, and values. Jesus definitely had a clear purpose, vision, and values, which culminated on Easter morning.
- Jesus illustrated how to engage and develop His followers
Servant leaders engage their people by clearly communicating their purpose, vision, and values. They let their people know how important their work is in the achievement of the purpose. They set up boundaries and put them in control of their goals. They are relentless in recognizing them for their work. They are also passionate about providing development opportunities for their people to help them achieve their God-given potential. Jesus shared His purpose and vision with His disciples, got them engaged in His purpose, and developed their skills to enable them to help Him move Christianity to where it is today.
- Jesus was never satisfied with status quo
Servant leaders understand that it is imperative to be relentless on continuous improvement. Status quo is never okay as getting comfortable will lead to complacency which will lead to a decline in an organization’s success and effectiveness. Jesus clearly challenged people that status quo was not okay in that He asks us to give up everything we have, abandon being an owner, and instead embrace being a steward of Christ.
- Jesus focused on building relationships
Servant leaders understand that building effective relationships will lead to an organization’s success. They treat people with mutual respect and trust, and they lead by listening first. They have empathy for their people, and they choose the behaviors of love in their daily activity. Jesus built relationships throughout His life with all people, some that weren’t necessarily the most popular at that time, always choosing patience, kindness, humility, respectfulness, selflessness, forgiveness, honesty, and commitment.
- Jesus modeled the way for us on how to live and lead
Servant leaders understand that their actions speak louder than their words. They realize that what happens within their presence becomes the rule of their command. They are also vulnerable enough to ask and find out how their people feel about their leadership and their declared values and then make the necessary adjustments to continue to improve their leadership. Jesus was the ultimate model of a servant, coming into a sinful world, to truly take our burdens upon His shoulders and provide a promise of salvation through the sacrifice of His life on the cross.
I thank God for Jesus, His model for us for servant leadership, and for Easter morning!
“Surely this is our God; we trusted in Him, and He saved us. This is the Lord, we trusted in Him; let us rejoice and be glad in His salvation.” Isaiah 25:9