Christmas Leadership Principles

What Do Jonathan Gruber, Osama Bin Laden, Steve Jobs and Jesus Have in Common?

Programs and projects can sometimes be better understood, especially in terms of principles and operations by better understanding the designer. Recent times have given us such widely diverse examples as Jonathan Gruber, Angie Hicks, Osama Bin Laden, Billy Graham and Steve Jobs.

Well, it’s Christmas time again, a world-wide phenomenon that is difficult to explain by narrowing our focus to the modern western commercialized expressions. The difficulty is compounded by failing to identify and appreciate the Leadership Principles displayed in its original inception by the Creator of Christmas. Think with me for a moment about these.

  1. At the point of vision, only the leader can see the results. How can one put color into a vision or structure and clothing on an idea? Only a leader can do that…especially when followers fail to live up to the possibilities of what the leader has in mind.
    Not unlike Van Gogh or Bach, Jesus came and people just didn’t seem to catch on. A leader has to do two things that Jesus did. First, keep the vision alive long enough for followers to catch up and, second, the leader has to give the followers the resources necessary to begin to live out the dream.
  2. Results are inextricably linked to planning. We are told that Christmas was planned before the world began. Talk about thinking ahead!
  3. Success is never a lonely affair. Those who say it’s lonely at the top have either never succeeded or are blinded by pride. A successful leader should be enjoying good company at the top. Even as Jesus was creating the universe, He acted as part of a Triune Consortium.
  4. Being under authority is more important than its exercise. In western society we are very quick to squirm, accepting authority only as a not-so-necessary evil. Jesus placed Himself under authority. If a leader is trusted, followers will place themselves under authority willingly, without pressure.
  5. Physical presence is a key factor in effective leadership. Jesus was in His comfortable CEO chair in his corner office. But instead of remaining ensconced as so many leaders do, isolating themselves from “the natives”, He came to where they were…where they were living…where they were struggling. And He identified with them.
  6. A leader is committed to the well-being of his/her followers. When is the last time you saw a leader…or acted as a leader…who was willing to give up everything for the sake of those they wanted to lead?
  7. Leadership is influence. Jesus started with a dozen guys. Today, counting only the ones who are alive at the current time, followers number over 2 billion. John C. Maxwell says that if you think you’re a leader, but there’s no one following you…you’re just taking a walk.

There are many more…can you think of any? Let me know what you think.