A Deeper Look into 7 Insights We Can Model from The Leadership Journey of Jesus – #4 – Relationship

This is the 5th post in an ongoing series on the leadership journey of Jesus. You can find the introductory article here, and review others below:

#1 – Awareness – click here
#2 – Alignment – click here
#3 – Perspective – click here

You may have noticed that in prior weeks we have really been addressing self leadership specifically. The first three of the insights from the leadership journey of Jesus are all done internally and alone as we calibrate ourselves for the pilgrimage. Leading others well can not be accomplished without leading ourselves well first.

Awareness happens in the mind, alignment happens in the soul and perspective follows the heart.

The next span of the leadership journey reaches beyond our selves and into relationship. Relationship is where we truly begin to charter the exercise of engaging and leading a follower. When the time for Jesus’ earthly ministry was ripe, He initiated it by intentional seeking out relationships that He could build upon. He wasn’t afraid to be direct and precise in His conversation either. “Come and follow me and I will make (develop) you (from where you are, to be) fishers of men.”

Much of today’s theories of leadership clearly see the value of healthy relationships in the leadership development process. The higher the quality of relationship between leader and follower, the better the leadership objectives can be accomplished.

The big miss at the higher levels of ministry seems to be, not in relationship quality, but in relationship intentionality. Having a great relationship is different than having a great leadership development relationship. You can have a healthy relationship with someone that has nothing to do with leadership development, but you can not have a great leadership development relationship with someone without having a healthy relationship with that person. Jesus was able to foster, balance and cultivate both kinds with a variety of individuals.

True leaders add value to everyone they come in contact with, but they are intentional about who they transfer their leadership equity to. We will be talking about that next week.

So many of today’s leaders believe that the person that they like and have a healthy relationship with is automatically a good candidate for leadership. Being willing to take on responsibility is different than being willing to lead. We often end up recruiting people who will “do” tasks instead of “be” leaders.

Jesus intentionally went after those with leadership potential that could be developed, and made them His very own disciples. No matter what level of leadership that a person was found in, Jesus was concerned with where they could be as a leader with His help.

As a leader ask yourself the following:

  • Am I intentionally seeking out others with leadership potential that I can develop?
  • Am I doing more than seeking, and actually initiating a leadership development process?
  • Do I have a repeatable and intentional process that creates leaders who create leaders?
  • Am I catalyzing relationships that cause people to “do” or to “be”?
  • How am I determining someones leadership potential? How do I measure potential?
  • Am I careful to not place a higher value on those with higher potential?
  • Do I still initiate healthy relationship with those who can offer me nothing in return?
  • How much of my time is spent initiating relationships and building leadership equity around me?
  • Would others say that I am a developer of leadership potential in others through relationship?

This topic could be greatly expanded upon. For the sake of keeping this post short I will leave it up to the readers to continue the conversation. What are your thoughts on the power of intentional relationship building for leadership development?

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About Ken McGarity

With vast experience as a successful entrepreneur and active in ministry leadership for many years, Ken McGarity is most recently engaged as a Church Growth Consultant and Strategist, as well as Christian Leadership Coach to today’s up and coming Christian leaders.

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