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Leadership – Leading Self

One of the things I can assure you of – there are lots of books and resources out there on leadership.  Understandably, it is a topic that draws a lot of interest because it is so needed.  If you Google leadership, or still go to bookstores, you will find a plethora of books giving you all the keys, principles, laws and secrets to leadership.  I have read many of them as I’m sure you have.  Yet one of the best sources of learning to lead well is – Jesus.  I appreciate and have learned much from authors like Collins, Kotter, Covey, Maxwell, Lencioni, and many others, but I would rather learn to lead like Jesus. And one of the first lessons of leadership is learning how to follow.  The best leaders are followers.  And to follow well is to practice self-denial and submission.  Jesus demonstrated this and in speaking to the Jewish leaders told them, “…I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me. The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him” (John 8:28-29). Jesus set the example of leading under the direction and will of the Father.  He asked the same of his followers. “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross and follow me” (Matt. 16:24).  To lead others, we must first lead ourselves in the sense of yielding our wills to the will of the Father.   Letting Jesus lead us is key.  And when we allow that we can do so with the confidence that the work Jesus began in us, he will complete – making us more Christ-like.  And when we become more Christ-like we can then say as the apostle Paul did – Follow me as I follow the example of Christ. (1 Cor. 11:1). 
– Dr. Gary Mathes