Friday, February 17, 2012

True Leadership

Many lessons can be learned by studying the life of Jesus of Nazareth.  For  a moment I'd like to look at him as a leader.
The following is an excerpt from an essay written by Dr James Allan Francis in 1926:

A child is born in an obscure village. He is brought up in another obscure village. He works in a carpenter shop until he is thirty, and then for three brief years is an itinerant preacher, proclaiming a message and living a life. He never writes a book. He never holds an office. He never raises an army. He never has a family of his own. He never owns a home. He never goes to college. He never travels two hundred miles from the place where he was born. He gathers a little group of friends about him and teaches them his way of life............... When we try to sum up his influence, all the armies that ever marched, all the parliaments that ever sat, all the kings that ever reigned are absolutely picayune in their influence on mankind compared with that of this one solitary life…

essay by Dr James Allan Francis in “The Real Jesus and Other Sermons” © 1926 by the Judson Press of Philadelphia (pp 123-124 titled “Arise Sir Knight!”).  

Jesus led by example, he had no decree, he held no office, no title, no CEO position.  People were and are free to follow him or not.
Many others have led through dictatorship, positions of authority, or bullying. Few have led when those who followed them had complete freedom to follow or not. 
Those who lead as Jesus did are often reluctant to lead.  Power and fame are not a motivation to them.  They lead because they believe so strongly in a cause that they have no choice, they do what needs to be done.  They succeed because they understand those who follow them, they listen to them, they live with them, they walk in their shoes, they put the good of others ahead of themselves. 
I have been gifted to come to know a group of nurses who fit into this category.  Each has their own style, some loud, some quiet, some out front, and some in the background, but each a leader in the their own way.
It's an honor to know these true leaders.

No comments: