Make no mistake, God made you a leader.
You might not see yourself as a leader in the sense of being a CEO of a large company, or important politician. However you are still a leader in God's eyes. You have more of an influence than you realize. Are you leading your family each day? Do you have a pet? Do you teach a class at church? Do you help in the church nursery? Do you lead a Christian lifestyle?
Don't sell yourself short. You have people looking up to you and hoping for your guidance and reassurance. It might all seem foreign to you, but the Bible has great insight on how to be a great leader. Furthermore, God gave you gifts that you can tap into to become the best leader you can be.
Psalm 86:7 says “Every time I'm in trouble I call on you, confident that you'll answer.” A good leader is confident in their relationship with Christ. They know that they can always rely on Him for guidance when they are in a pickle. Being a leader isn't easy, so it's important to build strong relationships with those that can help you. Christ is definitely a part of that. Building a relationship with Him where you can feel confident going to Him for any problem in your life will really help you in the long run.
Psalm 78:72 says "And David shepherded them with integrity of heart; with skillful hands he led them." The Bible also teaches us about the importance of having integrity as a leader. You would be surprised how easily integrity gets thrown out the window in many cases. Integrity is "the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness." Being Christian, we are given a list of morals and values to uphold and that doesn't change during moments of leadership. David himself wasn't always perfect at living up to his values, however he was quick to repent and learn from his actions. We, too, should be a leader like this.
You might consider this one the golden rule. Matthew 7:12 says “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” It is important that we treat others in the same kindness we hope to be treated with. This isn't always the easiest rule to follow, especially when it's ingrained in us to retaliate if someone hurts us. However true leaders strive to be like Jesus, and that means showing love, kindness, and compassion towards others. Serve others in a way that they will be inspired to become better.
Humans can be quick to talk over each other, however James 1:19 states "My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry." A good leader does not over react at a changing situation, but rather pauses, listens, and thinks through their actions. Have you heard the saying that God gave us two ears and one mouth so that we could listen twice as much as we talk? By listening and asking the right questions, you become more knowledgeable about the situation and are able to make effective choices. Don't let your anger and fear take over.
Have you ever worked for someone that seems to not care at all? Ephesians 6:7 tells us to “Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.” Leaders must be passionate and excited about leading others. If they are not, the ones the lead get bored, lethargic, and have no desire to continue the group’s goals. An effective leader knows that their enthusiasm is contagious and will spread like an epidemic to those who work with them. If you struggle to have motivation, remember that you are serving a thriving, living God. This fresh perspective will automatically increase your desire and sharpen your attitude toward work and life.
A leader can learn a lot from leaders that came before them. Hebrews 13:7 says “Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith.” When looking at other leaders in your life - employers, church leaders, and even Christ - you should be analyzing their way of life and seeing what you can learn from it. Find an earthly model of a leader who displays Godly wisdom, patience, and obeys the Word of God. You can then take what you have observed and use it in your own life.
A real leader is the servant of all. You may have heard the story of Jesus washing the feet of His disciples. In John 13:13–17 it says You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.” Jesus completing this task was a service that needed to be offered to His disciples, and wasn't an empty gesture. He was showing humility in front of His followers. This lesson teaches us the importance of serving others in our leadership positions.
Being an effective leader might not come naturally for everyone, but the Bible offers us guidelines on what a great leader is. Jesus was the ultimate role model of a true, brave leader and we should all try to live our lives more like Him.