TRUE LEADERSHIP

 TRUE LEADERSHIP

By

SOUGHTOUT EMEKA MATTHEW

 

INTRODUCTION:

The Book of Nehemiah has a lot to teach about true leadership. In this article, I will be gleaning attributes that makes  a true leader.

These attributes are is what I called MARKS OF TRUE LEADERSHIP and we will be examining them below:

MARKS OF TRUE LEADERSHIP

* SACRIFICIAL:

True leaders lead a sacrificial life.

Nehemiah took over the leadership of the land of Judah when it was the twentieth year of king Artaxerxes of Persian kingdom. From that time till twelve years after in leadership, Nehemiah never receive what was accrue to him as a governor.  His rights and privileges and that of his family, they sacrificed it for a better leadership.

Nehemiah 5 Vs. 14 confirm,

Moreover from the time that I was appointed to be their governor in the land of Judah, from the twentieth year even to the thirty-second year of Artaxerxes the king, that is, twelve years, I and my brothers have not eaten the bread of the governor.

Jesus is the greatest leader on earth. He lead a sacrificial life.

John 10 Vs. 15  As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.

One thing bad leaders never know is that whatever you let go by sacrifice have a way of coming back to you. Jesus said,

John 10 Vs. 17  Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.

* FEAR OF GOD:

The difference between bad leaders and true ones is traceable to fear of God and lack of fear of God.

True leaders fears God and it is seen in their dealings with the people he/she is leading while bad leaders doesn’t have the fear of God and we can clearly see it in how they treat the people they lead.

Nehemiah revealed this fact after taking over the leadership from his predecessors. In Nehemiah 5 Vs. 15 he says,

But the former governors who were before me were supported by the people, and took bread and wine from them, plus forty shekels note of silver; yes, even their servants ruled over the people; but I didn’t do so, because of the fear of God.

Leaders gets the support of the people whether they have the fear of God or not.

Leaders without the fear of God en-burdens the people that elected them into power with heavy taxes and levies the people. Even their subordinates follows their trend.

“But the former governors who were before me were supported by the people, and took bread and wine from them, plus forty shekels note of silver; yes, even their servants ruled over the people….”

True leaders fears God. They have no wicked heart to exploit from the people under their leadership.

One thing I took time to find out is that people prefers bad leaders to lead them than true leaders. Samuel was one of the true leaders Israel had; but they reject him for another leaders. Even when he told them what such leader will do to them, yet they choose bad leader for a true one.

1 Samuel 8:11-19  And he said, This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you: He will take your sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen; and some shall run before his chariots.   And he will appoint him captains over thousands, and captains over fifties; and will set them to ear his ground, and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and instruments of his chariots. And he will take your daughters to be confectionaries, and to be cooks, and to be bakers.  And he will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your oliveyards, even the best of them, and give them to his servants.  And he will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give to his officers, and to his servants.  And he will take your menservants, and your maidservants, and your goodliest young men, and your asses, and put them to his work.   He will take the tenth of your sheep: and ye shall be his servants.  And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the LORD will not hear you in that day.  Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us;

Samuel asked the people under his leadership questions that authentic his leadership from that of Saul. And here are their answers:

1 Samuel 12:2-4  And now, behold, the king walketh before you: and I am old and grayheaded; and, behold, my sons are with you: and I have walked before you from my childhood unto this day. Behold, here I am: witness against me before the LORD, and before his anointed: whose ox have I taken? or whose ass have I taken? or whom have I defrauded? whom have I oppressed? or of whose hand have I received any bribe to blind mine eyes therewith? and I will restore it you. And they said, Thou hast not defrauded us, nor oppressed us, neither hast thou taken ought of any man’s hand.

That’s true leadership. A true leader do not take from his people rather they give to them. A true leader do not defraud his people. he do not oppress them or takes bribe for them to blind his eyes in judgment. True leaders restore what he has erroneously taken from his people.

Samuel asked:

whose ox have I taken? or whose ass have I taken? or whom have I defrauded? whom have I oppressed? or of whose hand have I received any bribe to blind mine eyes therewith? and I will restore it you.

A leader that do not have the fear of God will never restore what he has erroneously taken from his people. A bad leader will never want himself to be probed to talk about him probing himself.

* ACCOUNTABLE:

True leaders are accountable to the people. This is because they want to maintain a clean slate. They don’t have any skeleton in their cupboard.

True leaders declare their assets not when taking up their leadership position but as well as when leaving the office.

Since I grew up, I have never seen any leader that declared his assets after his tenure has elapsed. Samuel will be a witness to prove to leaders that what makes a true leader is accountability.

1 Samuel 12:2-4  And now, behold, the king walketh before you: and I am old and grayheaded; and, behold, my sons are with you: and I have walked before you from my childhood unto this day. Behold, here I am: witness against me before the LORD, and before his anointed: whose ox have I taken? or whose ass have I taken? or whom have I defrauded? whom have I oppressed? or of whose hand have I received any bribe to blind mine eyes therewith? and I will restore it you. And they said, Thou hast not defrauded us, nor oppressed us, neither hast thou taken ought of any man’s hand.

* SELF-LESS:

True leaders are self-less in their service; but bad leaders are selfish. All they want is themselves and their family.

Bad leaders sees leadership position as an opportunity to amass wealth and acquire properties. This ought not to be so. That is the leadership error. Nehemiah didn’t make such a mistake. He was self-less in his service as a leader of the land of Judah and influence his subordinates to follow the same trend.

Nehemiah 5 Vs.16  Yes, I also continued in the work of this wall. We didn’t buy any land. All my servants were gathered there to the work.

Bad leaders are not after the work for which they are elected into leadership. They are into leadership for selfish purposes.

*UNITY CENTERED:

True leaders are unity minded. They carry everyone along.

Nehemiah never segregate. He didn’t say because; this person is not a Jew or among the ruling class he/she cannot be at my table. He gave everyone same treatment. This is not so with bad leaders. With bad leaders, if you are not a member of his family, constituency, country, party, etc. you cannot be found at their table.

Nehemiah 5 Vs. 17  Moreover there were at my table, of the Jews and the rulers, one hundred fifty men, in addition to those who came to us from among the nations that were around us.

* CONSIDERATE:

One of the marks of bad leadership is that they lay heavy bondage upon their people. This is not so with true leadership. True leaders are people’s welfare minded. They are considerate. They feel what the people feels and contributes to making life easy for them.

Even what are rights and privileges of true leaders, as long as demanding for it will be burdensome to the people, true leaders will not ask for it. This is because they are considerate.

Nehemiah 5 Vs. 18  says,

Now that which was prepared for one day was one ox and six choice sheep. Also fowls were prepared for me, and once in ten days a store of all sorts of wine. Yet for all this, I didn’t demand the governor’s pay, because the bondage was heavy on this people.

* SEEKS GOD’S REWARD:

True leaders prefer the reward of the Lord than that of men. Men awards but God rewards.

Nehemiah chose the reward from God than taking his reward from the people he led. He sacrificed what he was to get at the detriment of the people. He had feelings for the people’s pain and burdens placed upon them by his predecessors and he chose to be different through the fear of God.

Nehemiah 5 Vs.19  Remember to me, my God, for good, all that I have done for this people.

That is how to know who a true leader is. Can we get such leaders today in our countries, churches, organizations,etc? This kind of  leadership is not common; but that’s the kind of leadership that God wants. Jesus is a typical example for this God-kind of leadership.

Here is what the Bible says about His leadership mindset:

Philippians 2:4-11  Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:  Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:  But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:  And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;  And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Having seen what makes a true leader, let’s seek God’s grace to become true leaders anywhere we find ourselves.

All right reserved. Copyright ©2016, SOUGHTOUT E. MATTHEW, www.reachout.com.ng

Post Author: nelson ode

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