What Makes A Leader Great?
“The Lord told Joshua, ‘Today I will begin to make you a great leader in the eyes of all the Israelites. They will know that I am with you, just as I was with Moses’ … That day the Lord made Joshua a great leaders in the eyes of all the Israelites, and for the rest of his life they revered him as much as they had revered Moses. ”
Joshua 2:7, 4:14
Go Deep: What a makes a leader great? Some would say charisma is the key. Others might say it’s a combination of skill, intellect and the ability to inspire others to accomplish the mission. Then there are those who would argue that not only are charisma and persuasion necessary, but it’s a matter of also being the right person in the right place and the right time.
I wouldn’t argue with any of those ideas. But first and foremost I would argue that what makes a leader a great leader is simply God’s touch upon his or her life. Or at least that’s what should be the defining factor in great leadership. Where God makes a man or woman great in the eyes of the people, there you have the makings of a leader who is one for the ages. Joshua was just such a leader.
In Joshua, you find true success! Not that he leveraged his considerable talents, sharp intellect, political capital and magnanimous personality to lead the people to victory, but that God made him great in the eyes of the people. Never did Joshua take any credit for himself in the victories and miracles that God performed. As Moses had been a humble leader, so too was Joshua. Like his predecessor, he was a true servant of God and priestly guide of the Israelites. He served at God’s pleasure and recognized that his success came only by God’s power and grace. And God made Joshua great before all Israel.
That’s the kind of leader I want to be. I want to be a great leader because of the touch of God on my life; because of the work that he does in, for and through me. If there is anything that makes me worth following, may it be because of what God has done. What I do through my own gifts, personality and personal determination will, at best, quickly fade. But what God does through me will last for all eternity, and best of all, bring all the glory to the God who has equipped me to lead.
What about you? Do you desire to be a leader? You might feel unqualified and unworthy. Part of you may want to let someone else lead; someone more qualified, smarter, holier, better than you. But it could be that God has placed in you the kinds of gifts, talents, brainpower and favor that he wants to use in leading people to extend his Kingdom in this world.
If God is calling you to leadership, submit your life to him. Then let God make you great in the eyes of those you would lead.
Just Saying… When you think of the advancement of God’s kingdom over the millennia, it is amazing how many times this saying has been true of its leaders: “God didn’t call the qualified, He qualified the called.” Maybe he’s wanting to qualify you–he’s still looking for a few good men…and women!