Lead Like Jesus Revisited

Lead Like Jesus Revisited


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'The more I read the Bible, the more evident it becomes that everything I have ever taught or written about effective leadership over the past 25 years, Jesus did to perfection. He is simply the greatest leadership role model of all time.' -Ken Blanchard

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780718077259
Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
Publication date: 04/19/2016
Edition description: Revised
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 140,113
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Ken Blanchard is the coauthor of The One Minute Manager® and fifty other books, including the New York Times business bestsellers Gung Ho! and Raving Fans. His books have combined sales of more than eighteen million copies in more than twenty-seven languages. He is the chief spiritual officer of The Ken Blanchard Companies, a full-service global management training and development company that he and his wife, Dr. Marjorie Blanchard, founded in 1979.

Phil Hodges served as manager of human resources and industrial relations in the United States business world for about thirty-six years. He is the co-author of three books: Leadership by the Book by Ken Blanchard with Bill Hybels and The Servant Leader and Lead Like Jesus by KenBlanchard.

Read an Excerpt

Lead Like Jesus Revisited

Lessons from the Greatest Leadership Role Model of All Time

By Ken Blanchard, Phil Hodges, Phyllis Hendry

Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2016 Lead Like Jesus
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-7180-8497-4



Jesus called [his disciples] together and said, "You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all."

Mark 10:42–44

In our Lead Like Jesus workshops, we often ask, "How many of you think of yourselves as a leader?" We are amazed that only about 20 to 25 percent of the people raise their hands, even though our audiences are always predominantly made up of managers and supervisors at every level of a business, an educational institution, a government agency, or a faith-based organization. The reason most people don't raise their hands is they assume that leadership has to do with a workplace position or title. Many people feel they are not high up enough on the organizational chart to say that they are leaders.

We always follow up our first question by asking people to think about the person who has had the most significant impact on their lives, the person who has played a major role in who they are today as human beings. Then we ask, "How many of you named a manager or a supervisor you've worked for over the years?" Hardly a hand goes up. Then we ask, "How many of you identified your father, your mother, a grandmother or grandfather, aunt, uncle, or friend?" Almost every hand in the room goes up. Why is that? Because in reality, every human being is a leader in some part of his or her life — because leadership is an influence process. We believe that anytime you seek to influence the thinking, behavior, or development of someone in your personal or professional life, you are taking on the role of a leader.

As a result, the only way to avoid leadership is to isolate yourself from the outside world.

Leadership can be as intimate as speaking words of guidance and encouragement to a loved one or as formal as passing instructions along extended lines of communication in an organization. Leadership can be nurturing character and self-worth in children and promoting greater intimacy and fulfillment in personal relationships, or it can involve distributing resources in an organization to reach a specific goal or accomplish a given task.

Thus, there are two types of leadership: life role leadership and organizational leadership.

As a spouse, parent, family member, friend, or citizen, you have multiple life role leadership opportunities every day. What leadership role could be more important than these? Consider some examples:

• a husband and wife who seek mutual agreement on day-today finances

• a mother who teaches her toddler how to eat with a spoon

• a son who provides aging parents with advice and guidance about living arrangements

• a person who risks alienation when confronting a friend about a moral failure

• a citizen who helps find housing for the homeless

Different from life role leadership, organizational leadership usually comes with an official position or title that empowers you to serve the perceived needs of an organization. Again, examples might help:

• a corporate executive who rejects offers of insider information that would give his company a competitive edge

• a middle school teacher who excites curiosity in her students

• a rehabilitation nurse who patiently handles a stroke victim's anger

• a pastor who comforts a grieving member of his church

• a high school football coach who focuses more on molding his players' character than on winning games

A key difference between life role leadership and organizational leadership involves the permanence of the relationships involved. Life role leaders function in enduring relationships as parents, spouses, siblings, friends, and citizens; duty and obligation cannot be easily relinquished or discarded.

Organizational leaders, on the other hand, operate for a season in an environment of temporary relationships and fairly constant change. People can come and go very quickly for all sorts of reasons. This lack of stability in organizations often breeds a degree of reserve and qualified commitment evident in competitive office politics.

Most of the significant leadership that shapes our lives does not come from leaders with titles on an organizational chart; it comes from leaders in life role relationships. It is instructive to note that in the early church, a candidate's life role leadership was a prerequisite for assuming organizational leadership. In 1 Timothy 3:1–7 we read this:

Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task. Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God's church?) He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil's trap.

One person who exemplified servant leadership in Jesus' life was His mother, Mary: "I am the Lord's servant. ... May your word to me be fulfilled" (Luke 1:38). She passed on to her Son a legacy of obedience, submission, faith, and service. Mary epitomized the essence of a servant heart. In her life role as a mother, she was positioned to have strategic influence on the life and spirit of her Child. The relationship between mother and Son — between a soul already tested and found willing and a Soul to be nurtured, between a spiritual teacher and a Student — was part of God's plan to prepare Jesus for leadership.



"Even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."

Mark 10:45

The reality is, all of us are leaders. So, as you lead, who is your role model? We feel the greatest leadership role model of all time is Jesus.

When we tell people this, we get a lot of raised eyebrows. People want to ask what evidence we have — and we're glad when they do.

A few years ago at a Lead Like Jesus teleconference broadcast from Atlanta, Georgia, Ken asked his cohost, the well-known pastor and author John Ortberg, "Why would you travel all the way across the country from your home church in Menlo Park, California, to teach people that Jesus is the greatest leadership role model of all time?"

Ortberg, a gifted storyteller, smiled at the audience and said, "Let's assume for a moment that two thousand years ago you were a gambler. I know a number of you don't like gambling, but bear with me for a moment. Let me ask you, who would you have bet your money on to last: the Roman Empire and the Roman army, or a little Jewish rabbi with twelve inexperienced followers?" Everyone smiled as John went on to say, "Isn't it interesting that all these years later we are still naming kids Matthew, James, Sarah, and Mary, and we call our dogs Nero and Caesar? I rest my case."

While John got a big laugh, his point was well taken. Clearly, Jesus' leadership was effective: His church exists today; the Roman Empire doesn't. Put differently, the important thing about leadership is not what happens when the leader is present, but what happens when the leader is not there. As a parent, it's not too difficult to get your children to do what you want them to do when you're hovering over them. But what do they do when you're not there? A business leader deals with the same issue. You can't micromanage your people's every move, much less their every thought or idea. So great business leaders today empower their people to bring their brains to work and make good decisions on their own. When given this opportunity, those people tend to be fully engaged in their work.

Initial proof that Jesus is the greatest leadership role model of all time came to Ken when he was asked to be on Robert Schuller's Hour of Power after The One Minute Manager was released in the early 1980s. Ken recalls that when Reverend Schuller interviewed him, he asked, "Do you know who the greatest One Minute Manager of all time was?"

Ken gave him a blank stare.

Then Schuller said, "Jesus of Nazareth."

"Really?" said Ken, never having thought of Jesus as a great leadership role model.

"Absolutely," said Reverend Schuller. "After all, He was very clear about goals. Isn't that your first secret — One Minute Goal Setting?"

"Yes," Ken responded.

Schuller then smiled and said, "You and Tom Peters didn't invent management by wandering around. Jesus did. He wandered from one village to another. If He caught someone doing something right, He would praise or heal that person. Isn't that your second secret — One Minute Praising?"

"Yes," said Ken.

"Finally," said Schuller, "if people stepped out of line, Jesus wasn't afraid to redirect their efforts. After all, He threw the money lenders out of the temple. Isn't that what your One Minute Reprimand is all about?"

Ken laughed, realizing Schuller had a point.

This reality was reinforced when Ken learned that Bill Hybels, founding pastor of Willow Creek Community Church, was teaching the leaders on his staff Situational Leadership®, a concept Ken had first developed in the late 1960s with Paul Hersey. When Ken asked Bill why he chose Situational Leadership, Bill was quick to say that Jesus was the greatest situational leader of all time, using "different strokes for different folks" depending on the situation. When, for instance, Jesus first took on His disciples as "fishers of men" (Matthew 4:19 ESV) and sent them out, He provided some specific instructions about where to stay, what to wear, and what to do. But the disciples grew and matured over time: soon they weren't enthusiastic beginners who needed specific direction, and Jesus changed His style accordingly. At the end of His ministry on earth, Jesus was able to issue to His disciples this general directive: "Go and make disciples of all nations" (Matthew 28:19).

As Ken and Phil began to study the Gospels — Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John — as well as the book of Acts, they became fascinated with how Jesus transformed twelve ordinary and unlikely people into the first generation of leaders of a movement that continues to affect the course of world history some two thousand years later. In fact, Ken and Phil soon realized that every idea and truth about leadership they had ever taught or written came from the Bible and was evident in how Jesus led His disciples.

Followers of Jesus have more in Jesus than just a spiritual leader; we have a practical model of effective leadership for all organizations, for all people, for all situations.



"Here is my servant whom I have chosen, the one I love, in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will proclaim justice to the nations."

Matthew 12:18

Having accepted that Jesus is the greatest leadership role model of all time, consider now some specifics about His leadership approach. The best description of Jesus' leadership is found in Matthew 20. John and James's mother had gone to Jesus and essentially asked if, in heaven, one of her sons could sit at His left hand and the other one at His right hand. She obviously thought leadership was all about the hierarchy. After Jesus told her that her request was not for Him to grant, He approached the other ten disciples, who were miffed because this mother had asked for those places of honor before they themselves did!

Jesus called [his disciples] together and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave — just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." (Matthew 20:25–28)

We added the emphasis on Not so with you in that verse. Why? Because Jesus' call to servant leadership is clear and unequivocal. His words leave no room for plan B. He placed no restrictions or limitations of time, place, or situation that would allow us to exempt ourselves from heeding His command. For followers of Jesus, servant leadership is not an option; servant leadership is a mandate. Our servant leadership is to be a living statement of who we are in Jesus, an identity evident in how we treat one another and how we demonstrate the love of Jesus to the whole world. If this kind of leadership sounds like serious business with profound implications, it is.

The exciting part of leading like Jesus is that He never sends us into any situation alone or with a plan that is flawed or sure to fail. Jeremiah 29:11–14 tells us:

"I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you," declares the Lord.

Whatever subject He addressed — and in Matthew 20 it is leadership — Jesus spoke about what is right and effective. We can trust that His Word is an expression of His unconditional and sacrificial love poured out for our eternal well-being. As followers of Jesus, then, we can trust Him and His instructions to us regardless of our circumstances. We can also freely ask Him to give us wisdom in all things, including our leadership roles. James 1:2–8 reminds us that Jesus wants to be intimately involved in all aspects of our lives:

When all kinds of trials and temptations crowd into your lives my brothers, don't resent them as intruders, but welcome them as friends! Realise that they come to test your faith and to produce in you the quality of endurance. But let the process go on until that endurance is fully developed, and you will find you have become men of mature character with the right sort of independence. And if, in the process, any of you does not know how to meet any particular problem he has only to ask God — who gives generously to all men without making them feel foolish or guilty — and he may be quite sure that the necessary wisdom will be given him. But he must ask in sincere faith without secret doubts as to whether he really wants God's help or not. The man who trusts God, but with inward reservations, is like a wave of the sea, carried forward by the wind one moment and driven back the next. That sort of man cannot hope to receive anything from God, and the life of a man of divided loyalty will reveal instability at every turn. (Phillips)


Excerpted from Lead Like Jesus Revisited by Ken Blanchard, Phil Hodges, Phyllis Hendry. Copyright © 2016 Lead Like Jesus. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Introduction xi

Part I A biblical Perspective on Leadership

Chapter 1 Are You a Leader? 3

Chapter 2 The Greatest Leadership Role Model of All Time 9

Chapter 3 Jesus the Servant 13

Chapter 4 Is Jesus a Relevant Role Model for Us Today? 17

Chapter 5 A Transformational Journey That Begins on the Inside 23

Chapter 6 The Four Domains of Leading like Jesus 35

Part II The Heart of a Great Leader

Chapter 7 What Does Leading Like Jesus Look Like? 43

Chapter 8 Want to Lead Like Jesus, but My Heart Does Not 49

Chapter 9 The Results of a Heart Out of Order 53

Chapter 10 Warning Signs on the Path to Edging God Out 65

Chapter 11 A Heart Turnaround 73

Part III The Being Habits

Chapter 12 The Habit of Accepting and Abiding in God's Unconditional Love 89

Chapter 13 The Habit of Experiencing Solitude 95

Chapter 14 The Habit of Practicing Prayer 99

Chapter 15 The Habit of Knowing and Applying Scripture 105

Chapter 16 The Habit of Maintaining Supportive Relationships 115

Part IV The Head of a Great Leader

Chapter 17 Developing Your Own Compelling Vision 125

Chapter 18 Jesus' Compelling Vision 135

Chapter 19 Creating a Compelling Team/Organizational Vision 141

Chapter 20 Implementing Your Compelling Vision 155

Part V The Hands of a Great Leader

Chapter 21 The Leader as a Performance Coach 167

Chapter 22 The Work of the Carpenter 173

Chapter 23 The Way of the Carpenter 179

Chapter 24 The EGO Factor 199

Part VI The Doing Habits

Chapter 25 The Habit of Obeying God and Expressing His Unconditional Love 211

Chapter 26 The Habit of Grace 217

Chapter 27 The Habit of Forgiveness 221

Chapter 28 The Habit of Encouragement 227

Chapter 29 The Habit of Community 231

Chapter 30 Leading Like Jesus Begins in You 239

Part VII Next Steps to Leading Like Jesus

Chapter 31 Leading Positive Change 247

Chapter 32 EGOs Anonymous: Taking the First Step Toward Exalting God Only 259

Next Steps to Leading Like Jesus: Checklist 269

Next Steps to Leading Like Jesus: Resource List 271

Discussion Guide 275

Acknowledgments 295

Notes 297

About the Authors 303

Index 307

Scripture Index 315

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