The most pressing global leadership issue facing our world today is the lack of transformational/servant leaders. We live at a time when there is greater interest in the subject of leadership than at any other time in history. New books on leadership come to bookshelves around the world everyday.
Leadership seminars and courses are ubiquitous. One would expect that this burgeoning interest and attention to the subject of leadership would result in a more peaceful and progressive world. On the contrary, families, churches, communities and nations are experiencing more crises than at any other time in history.
Everything we see today is a result of a leadership decision made at some point in the past; the crises and chaos in our world today spring from a crisis in leadership. Professor Stephen Adei of Accra Ghana stated: “Leadership is cause; everything else is effect”
God’s answer to our social, moral, and economic problems is providing qualified, just and righteous leadership. This is borne out in the biblical history of the nation of Israel, which rose to prominence on the backs of godly leaders but sank whenever it had despondent leaders. In the times of decline they cried out to God, and His answer was always the provision of godly leaders who led them back to prosperity.
Today, there are more leaders but less leadership, more informed leaders but less evidence of the positive effects of their leadership.
Something must be wrong with the leadership paradigms being pursued in our generation.
The one leader that has impacted our world more than any other is the man Jesus Christ. His followership around the world comes from every social status and almost every culture. His influence on the world is astonishing bearing in mind that he exercised public leadership for only three years! Four major things stand out on the paradigm of leadership he espoused.
First, he selected as his disciples ordinary men and cast to them a compelling vision of a better world that he called the Kingdom of God. Secondly, he lived with them and empowered them through coaching, teaching, training and mentoring. Thirdly, he deployed and unleashed them to do the things he taught them. Finally, he laid down his life for them. He used the eve of his sacrificial death to teach them the greatest leadership lesson of all: true leadership is not in being served and receiving praise, recognition and accolades, rather it is in spending out one’s life for others and serving them.
In recent years, the world has been discovering that this leadership paradigm is effective in the corporate world and the public arena as well.
Jim Collins’ bestselling book, “Good to Great” was written after a five-year research project on 11 Fortune 500 companies that made the transition from being average to becoming outstanding companies. One of the unexpected findings of the project was that these transitions happened when the companies had transformational/servant leaders he called Level 5 leaders at the helm.
Every effort to raise, model and highlight the transformational/servant leadership paradigm, which places service above self, plays a part in addressing the most pressing leadership issue of our world today.