There are two types of leaders. Those we have to follow and those we want to follow.
In Scott Saul’s excellent new book From Weakness to Strength, I came across an extremely helpful section describing the attributes of a leader we want to follow. Saul’s uses Collin’s “Level 5 Leader” as a template and proceeds to expand on that concept with a seriously beautiful Gospel-focus.
“They are confident, yet they don’t exude self-importance. They are more interested in others than they are in getting others interested in them. They have very few selfies yet have hundreds of “pictures” of the people whose livelihoods depend on them and whose flourishing they have undertaken as their personal mission. It is precisely because they don’t seem interested in drawing attention to themselves that you want to give them your full, undivided attention. When you are around them, you sense that they are interested in you, that you are important to them, and that they like you. You sense that they are not in it for themselves or for their own glory and advancement but that they’re interested in the greater good. They give you confidence that, when it becomes best for the greater good for them to step down and to hand their “throne” over to another leader, they will readily and humbly do so.”
Here is the picture of leadership greatness personified in Jesus, who “became nothing” and was promoted to the highest possible position of authority (Phil 2). In the Gospel, we see a true template of greatness. Great leaders take the worst seat and are asked to take a better seat by others. These are the kinds of leaders we want to follow. There are the kinds of leaders we should strive to be.