Was Jesus Christ a great leader? A ‘non-reigeous’ question asked by Inc’s Lee Colan.

Putting religious and spiritual beliefs aside, no one in history has been discussed more, worshipped more, had more songs and books written about and inspired more artwork. He also created one of the world’s most sustained organizations (the church). So, Jesus was certainly a leader from whom lessons can be learned and applied in today’s world. Here four timeless, powerful leadership lessons.

Great leaders lead from the inside out. Jesus focused on personal leadership first–matters of character. At the core of these matters of character is integrity. Without integrity, no one will follow you, and if no one is following you, you are not leading.

Leadership is truly an inside job. Your leadership skills will only take you as far as your character will allow. Jesus had a pure heart and unfailing character. The more you work on your heart and your character, the more others will want to follow you.

Great leaders are great storytellers. Jesus’ stories have certainly withstood the test of time. His preferred storytelling style was the parable. Stories are richer, more powerful and longer-lasting than directives or instructions. Look at your own life for stories that have relevant messages for your team… we all have them. Turn your stories into coaching tools for future leaders to build your leadership legacy.

Great leaders are great servants. Jesus washed the feet of his disciples even during his most trying time. Great leaders today see themselves as serving their teams–equipping, encouraging and coaching them to realize their potential. Leadership is about others, not you.

Great leaders balance conviction with compassion. Jesus held strong convictions and values while still showing tremendous compassion to others who did not share these same convictions. Likewise, today’s great leaders are clear about their values and expectations while being sensitive to the person behind the employee. This balance engages people’s heart and minds, and it motivates them to give their discretionary effort - what I call passionate performance.

Remember, you don’t have to be great to get started, but you have to get started to be great.

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