With the exception of the summer of my senior year when I had a job at the old Battle Creek Sanitarium in Battle Creek, MI, all my work experience has been in what is commonly referred to as part of the "Bible Belt."
Having lived in Nashville, TN as a member of the "working class" for almost 47 years now, I have had several jobs and held several different positions. Some of my bosses and supervisors have been Christians and some have not, but regardless of religious persuasion, I have found that while there are many bosses with different philosophies and approaches, very few have learned to be good leaders.
For anyone desiring to be a good leader, this article is written for you! Whether you hope to one day hold a position of leadership or already are a leader, you will do well to follow the leadership example of Jesus, the Greatest Leader the world has ever known.
By embracing and implementing the characteristics of Christ's leadership style, you will find that those under your leadership will work harder, more diligently, and accomplish more than ever before. You may also find other leaders paying close attention in an effort to learn the secret of your success.
The examples given here will not surprise the Christian who strives to treat others as Jesus did, but I am convinced that, Christian or not, the truly wise will observe, study, and imitate the ways of Jesus Christ. All who do are subject to gleaning much from the Master Leader of all time.
Here are a few of the characteristics of the World's Greatest Leader...
APPRECIATIVE: Let others know that you appreciate them. Pay particular attention when they are feeling down or seem confused about an issue. As a leader, you have a lot of influence and power over the attitude of those you supervise regardless of the circumstance.
What better way to make people want to follow you than to help them feel good about themselves by letting them know they are appreciated. And, they will feel good about you as you show them that your appreciation is genuine.
ENCOURAGING: Everyone needs to know they have done well, and there is nothing like praise and encouragement to have people bending over backwards to keep up the good work, try harder, or to do even better! Be generous with both! Say something encouraging to a different person each day to let them know they are valued. Make a rotation list so you will not overlook anyone.
Try to find at least one thing you can honestly applaud, even if that individual has frustrated you to no end!
Remember, God loves the “problem child” too. God’s plans are being worked out for that troublesome individual, and guess what! You have been chosen, by God, to be a part of the shaping of his or her life!
KINDNESS: In kindness, offer help when someone has made a mistake or if they are heading in a no win direction. As a leader, it is important to let people know when they have not done something correctly. However, as with everything we do or say, it's all in "how it is said" that will make the difference.
SUPPORTIVE: Stand by those under your leadership...no matter what! Never condone bad behavior, but to give support and help by not turning your back on anyone under you. Instead, guide them to a better way, or refer them to someone who can. Remember, no one is all bad, just as no one is all good!
These are just a few of many of the compelling characteristics that, for over 2,000 years, have continued to draw generation after generation of men and women, young and old, and from every nation on earth, to listen to Jesus' words, respond wholeheartedly, and follow his lead by becoming his disciples.