Developing your leadership skills might not seem important to the ones that control your professional destiny. Know this—every great leader takes risks. You might need to take the risk of changing how you lead.
I could write a million pages full of the risks that people have taken throughout history. Those risks have led some to discover fame, and others to financial ruin. I could also fill a million pages with the stories of risks people regret never taking. Honestly speaking, I might be able to fill that many pages just talking about my own feats and disasters.
What are some of the risks you have taken?
What are some of the risks you regret not taking?
What makes someone take a risk? The only answer I can come up with is—people jump because they really believe they will land somewhere better. The idea becomes so tantalizing, they cannot sit still. This conclusion means that in order to take a risk, we must have vision and hope for a better future. The deeper our conviction in the possibility of that better future, the greater the likelihood we will take the risk and bring others with us.
Jesus Took Leadership Risks
Jesus took great risks; culturally, politically and relationally. He risked everything for the job He was called to do. He could do this because Jesus lived inside of the power God had for Him. That power is also available to us who are willing to follow and ask for it.
- Jesus knew that God “had put all things under His power.”
He knew that God was in control of His life and ministry. When we live this way, we will know freedom. In that freedom, we can lead to a greater good, instead of merely pacifying someone for a moment. We become better at letting people get upset (we know they don’t have to be happy for us to know we’re doing what is best). Ultimately we have one judge. When we seek to obey Him, we are not at the mercy of the emotional responses of those around us. We are free to care about what is truly best for them, rather than what will be easiest for them.
- Jesus knew “He had come from God.”
Jesus knew that His Father in heaven was the source of His mission in life. When you know where you come from, you also know where to go when something is not like you had imagined it would be. When you know Who you come from, you also know that everything He says about you is true.
- Jesus trusted that He “was returning to God”
Servant leaders can risk serving others when they trust that God is in control of their lives. They can do anything required of them here, because “here” is a temporary reality. Someday we will eat at the King’s table, walk in the King’s courtyard, and worship at the King’s feet. That was a reality to Jesus. It gave Him courage and purpose to do even the hardest thing He was called to do.