First and Second Principle of Leadership (L-2)
This is the second post in the Leadership series. Most of its ideas are expanded and detailed in my recent book "Seven principles for super-effective leadership" published on Amazon.
The First Principle: Your Moral Character
The First Principle states that the moral character forms the foundation of leadership. The ideal character, which I call the Diamond Soul, mimics Christ's own. It gives you the moral authority you need as a leader of men.
The character is a set of moral attributes or features that distinguish one individual from another. The concept of character can imply various qualities, but it mostly refers to empathy, fortitude, loyalty, perseverance, integrity, trustworthiness, etc. It also means the adoption of correct principles of human conduct as the foundation of one's character.
Character is what is inside us, in our souls, hearts, and minds. It is a set of core principles that we strongly believe in and have adopted as guiding lights for our lives. Character is like the large and stable base of an iceberg hidden underwater, which supports the iceberg's tip visible above water. Personality is the outward manifestation of character expressed in behavior patterns that align with the inner nature. Personality rests on the character and is there for everyone to see. Personality is like the tip of an iceberg, visible above water, supported by the ice's much more extensive and stable base.
Character is one's true nature, including identity, providing a sense of purpose, values, virtues, morals, and conscience. Character is the essence of who the individual is, what he values and believes, and behaves. Character communicates better than one thousand words but reveals itself slowly in time. Good character creates trust and respect, attracts good people, and provides the foundation for meaningful relationships. That is the power of character!
The Diamond Soul Character.
It shines from within.
The Diamond Soul character begins with faith in Christ. Faith is what separates Christian character from mere civility or secular morality. There are many reasons for a person to do an outwardly good or moral act. However, it is not solely the outward act that makes behavior godly, but the motive behind the action that matters. The Diamond Soul character is the product of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit changes the believer's heart from a state of rebellion and unbelief to faith and love. The Spirit of God dwelling in the believer's heart produces love for God and others, as well as a desire to deny sin and self to please God. The Holy Spirit, therefore, becomes the foundation of a real Christian character:
The Second Principle: Lead like Jesus
The Second Principle states that Jesus Christ's style of leadership should be followed by all aspiring Christian leaders.
In the first book in this series, The Diamond Soul character, I describe the five main character strengths of Jesus: humility, strength, firmness, courage, and patience. The first one, humility, is Jesus' hallmark. He was so humble that he allowed his tormentors to torture with no opposition from his part. The last ones, humility, strength, firmness, courage, and patience, are the hallmark of a righteous warrior and leader that Jesus was. The following is a summary.
Jesus gave his disciples three illustrations in humbleness: the example of the child (Matthew 18:4), the teachings on service (John 13:16), and the case of washing feet (John 13:5). In choosing a child as the embodiment of humility, Jesus reminds us that a child is eager for learning, is docile, and is always curious. And free from vanity, ambitions, and social aspirations. In other words, Jesus would like us to be like children in the matter of faith, with open and sincere hearts.
What was the first impression that Jesus of Nazareth made upon his contemporaries? Was he perceived as insignificant and transitory, pale and ghastly, sickly and subdued, meek and weak? Of course not. On the contrary, the Gospels give us examples of Jesus acting as a leader, giving orders, dispatching people, and speaking with authority. In everything he does, he gives the impression of mastery, power, and leadership. His authority does not come from an earthly position of power because he holds none. His authority comes only from his inner strength and moral character. Jesus casts moral authority, the highest source of all. He drew men to him. Only a man of strength attracts large masses of other men.
When it comes to Jesus of Nazareth, we are in the presence of a man who nobody swerved or dominated. He was asked by his countrymen to lead them in the fight against the Roman occupation. Despite loving his homeland, Jesus refused. Jesus resisted the temptation of the mighty forces of darkness for forty days when he was tested in the wilderness. A good self-discipline accompanied Jesus' tenacity. When Jesus commits to going somewhere, he does it. When Jesus promises to cast out demons, he delivers.
The courage displayed by Jesus was neither military nor occasional. It was the highest form of courage––the moral courage––which manifested itself in isolation and solitude. The audacity of Jesus of Nazareth was the courage of the quiet and commonplace days and nights. It was revealed hour by hour walking on dusty roads toward unknown destinations, preaching to large crowds.
Jesus waited patiently for thirty years before he began his ministry. He remained in Galilee's little country town before he entered into the labors he felt God had given him to do. We do not ask ourselves how much this must have troubled him. Could he have started his work when he was eighteen, or twenty or twenty-five? Of course, he could have. He was patiently waiting to discover the plans his Father had for him until he received them one day. He was thirty.
When his tribulations began on the night of his betrayal in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus first refused to defend himself in the court of law offered by the Romans, then accepted his sentencing with serenity. For several days and nights, he endured indignities at the hands of his tormentors. Then Jesus suffered with patience and resignation the most horrific pain inflicted on the human body.
Jesus as a Leader
There is a vast body of literature on the subject matter of Jesus Christ as a leader. The consensus is that Jesus was the most outstanding leader of all times. Why this agreement? Because the historical facts speak for themselves. Jesus alone created Christianity, currently the largest religion on earth, with over 2.3 billion follower spread over six continents. He alone changed European history, causing the mighty pagan Roman Empire of antiquity to collapse and be replaced by the powerful Christian empires of the last two millennia.
He alone founded the church, the only European institution that has survived, prospered, and influenced world events for twenty centuries. On top of that, the great thinkers of the early Middle Age, starting with Origen of Alexandria, developed a new branch of philosophy about God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit. It was called theology – the systematic study of the nature of the divine.
JESUS IS THE ALL-TIME GOLD STANDARD FOR LEADERSHIP ROLE MODEL
Jesus is the gold standard for Christian leadership. This is the essence of the Second Principle. We cannot possible be like Jesus, but we definitely should aspire to lead through service like him. Jesus lead with humility, grace, and firmness - just to mention a few of his outstanding qualities. And above all, he lead by service. We can truly do the same.
To be continued in the next post.
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