I was asked to lead a leadership workshop. I wasn’t sure what to cover. The subject is so broad, and I was having difficulty knowing even where to start. My first step was to go to the internet and start researching leadership.
I read all kinds of articles. I ended up watching videos from my Harvard Business Review subscription along with YouTube videos. I was now overwhelmed and confused.
When all my efforts failed, I eventually turned to God. Each day I prayed for my audience and their needs. I asked God to tell me what they needed to know from me about leadership.
One day, I opened the Bible to the Gospel of Mark. In the first three chapters, Jesus demonstrated his ten leadership best practices.
This is what I discovered:
- Know your life purpose and mission—We can determine our life purpose by taking tests, reading books, or asking God and listening. God speaks to us through his Holy Spirit. We are created by God for a purpose. We need to ask Him. Armed with this clarity, we are focused and unstoppable.
- Spend quality time in prayer and silence before God—I start each day in silence, reflection, and prayer. Jesus did it. This time with God establishes my mind, body, spirit connection. If I start the day grounded in my relationship with God, nothing will get away from me. He’s got it, and that’s a good day.
- Align your message with your purpose and market—As leaders, we should have a simple message. Jesus’ message was, “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.” Mine is “Helping entrepreneurs take their next steps in business and life.” It never changes because it is in alignment with my purpose and my market. What’s your message?
- Continually recruit great people and invest in their growth—Jesus did this right from the start, and he never stopped doing it. The most successful entrepreneurs I know are always on the lookout for great talent. And their investment in this talent doesn’t end with landing them. It continues so they become even better at what they do and who they are.
- Be a public speaker and teacher—Jesus was always in front of people. They looked to him for his thoughts and for direction. As entrepreneurs, we are also recognized as leaders and teachers.
- Serve with your gift, and let others serve you with their gift—You are great at what you do, but you aren’t great at everything needing to be done. Focus on your strengths, and allow others to practice their strengths. This is a servant-leadership principle. Serve, but allow yourself to be served. This is team building.
- Go and grow—Great leaders are engaged with their people and their market. They know and love their team and their customers. Growth will surely follow when we are with the people we love and serve.
- Be available and approachable by your people and your market—This is where deeper, trusting relationships happen. And relationships are the cornerstone to success.
- Engage with other leaders—Jesus did this all the time. He loved being with his disciples, but he also chose to engage with those who didn’t agree with him, the establishment. As entrepreneurs, we should seek out people whose opinions are contrary to our own. When we are with the people who agree with us, we are encouraged. When we hang with those who disagree with us, we are challenged.
- Select an inner circle to further the company or ministry beyond yourself—This is how big visions become realities.
I don’t know any leader who practices these ten leadership principles all the time. But the really great leaders I have been fortunate to know in my lifetime come pretty close. I challenge you to read Mark chapters 1-3. Discover what God has to say to you about your leadership.