Throughout life, you can learn from those you observe…both good and bad. As a leader, the same applies. The premise is that there is no one better to observe on how to lead than Jesus.
In the last few days, I have taken a look at one of the events of Jesus life on earth, ‘cleansing the Temple’ and noticed some great leadership principles.
First, let’s look at the scripture:
The Jewish Passover was near, so Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple complex He found people selling oxen, sheep, and doves, and ëHe also foundû the money changers sitting there. After making a whip out of cords, He drove everyone out of the temple complex with their sheep and oxen. He also poured out the money changers’ coins and overturned the tables. 16He told those who were selling doves, “Get these things out of here! Stop turning My Father’s house into a marketplace!”
And His disciples remembered that it is written: Zeal for Your house will consume Me. John 2: 13-17
He saw a problem
The problem was in direct contrast to His core purpose: “doing everything possible to see that all things brought glory to His Father.”
He knew the problem had to be corrected
From the account recorded we see that Jesus recognized the problem and then it is inferred that he knew something had to be done…but He was careful not to react…
He had the patience to examine the situation and make a plan
Look at verse 15, closely, it says ‘after making a whip.’ So…think about this…He saw the problem but before He reacted He formulated a plan. He had patience enough to make a whip and then act…set the plan in motion.
As a part of His plan, He knew he needed resources
Creating a plan often means gathering resources and that is exactly what Jesus does. He looks around the Temple grounds and finds the materials to make a whip. The research shows that the materials were probably pieces of cord that were used to lead the animals into the Temple. There are some things we can learn from Jesus picking up the discarded pieces of cord. First, he knew He needed resources and He used what was around Him. Secondly, He took what has been discarded by others and saw the potential.
As leaders of teams, we need to remember that we often have the needed resources we just need to look. We also need to remember that resources that have been discarded by others could possibly be a great resource for us. And finally, a leader has to remember that team members often don’t see their own potential and it’s the leader’s job to recognize gifts and encourage them to be used. Finally, we must remember that the resources and teams must be aligned for a common goal… “the pieces of cord became a whip.”
When it is time to act, do so with energy and passion
After Jesus made the plan and gathered the resources it was time for Him to act and He did so with passion. The Temple would never be the same.
When He acted His disciples knew why because they had heard His purpose, His vision.
As Jesus’ followers watched the passionate display they knew why He was doing it because His purpose had been consistently communicated.
And His disciples remembered that it is written: Zeal for Your house will consume Me.
Leaders of organizations or teams can learn much from the leadership lessons modeled by Christ. This story is just one example.
- Have a purpose
- Communicate the purpose…often
- Beware of actions that go against the purpose
- Create a plan
- Look for resources
- Recruit a team
- Align the team around the purpose
- Go after the goal with enthusiasm