Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that. –Ephesians 5:1-2, Message
The greatest leader who ever lived is Jesus Christ. He is the model leader. His example is worth following for a number of reasons. He humbled Himself always, continually put others and their needs before His needs, built an outstanding team that had long-lasting impact, changed thousands of lives and loved unreservedly. He wore no mask. This kind of leadership is not out of reach for us today. With the Holy Spirit’s power and the Word of God, we can be leaders like Jesus.
One leadership trait that is key to unlocking Jesus-like leadership is authenticity. So often we hear the cry, “Just be real.” Or “I wish they would accept me for who I am.” We tend to preface certain statements with “Let me be honest” or “Honestly…” to emphasize that at that very moment, we are being absolutely authentic and sincere. But authenticity should be a lifestyle rather than a prop.
Authentic leaders put people at ease. They have no one to impress, so they can focus on others and on serving them and their needs. They can listen to people and show genuine interest in what the other person is saying because they truly care about the person’s needs and well-being. Authentic leaders just want to serve others.
Authentic servanthood comes through God’s work in a person. A servant heart does not come naturally – it is the result of a deep work of grace. As we become more like Jesus, we put other people’s needs, aspirations and interests above ours. This attitude rubs off on others and before long, an atmosphere of authenticity is created.
Every atmosphere is intentionally built. Here are some action items you can do to start building an atmosphere of authenticity.
1. Encourage frequently.
Tell people they are doing a good job. Admire their diligence, work ethic, commitment to family – whatever. Build people up and they will want to build others up also.
2. Take interest in people.
Find out what their favorite coffee or tea is and get them a cup. It’s a small gesture but it goes a long way.
3. Open your door.
Invite people to come in and give you feedback on their department. Show you care about their suggestions and consider their needs. Open the channels of communication.
4. Demonstrate vulnerability.
Vulnerability is not weakness. It is actually courage to take risks and trust others. Model the reality that you also fail, but through the grace of God, you can continue leading with humility and wisdom.
This article was provided by our partner, Frank Damazio, Pastor of City Bible Church and the Chairman of Ministers Fellowship International, a fellowship of thousands of churches nationwide and around the world.
To read more on Pastor Frank's blog click here.
To learn more about Frank and read Pastor Frank's sermons click here.