He said to people established in a career, "Come follow me and I will make you fishers of men" (Mark 1:17). This meant leaving what they were doing and making a radical career decision.
Which they did!
Jesus said, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me" (Luke 9:23). Self denial and cross bearing! Not exactly your standard "marketing pitch."
But -- incredibly -- they did!
And just to be crystal clear about his expectations and standards, about what he was inviting them to, Jesus said "Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyoen who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me, and anyone who does take up his cross and follow me is not worthh of me" (Matthew 10:37-39).
And still -- they followed him!
The challenge Jesus threw down is mind-boggling!
What in the world is going on?
Why are they following him?
I'd suggest it is inspiration. There was something about Jesus which was inspiring? Jesus inspired people.
- They were amazed with his teaching.
- They were amazed with his ability to cast out demons.
- They were amazed at his intimacy with God.
- They were amazed at how he handled his enemies.
Jesus was amazing! Not manipulative. Not condescending. Not a charlatan doing tricks. Not a salesman pedeling a product.
When you are amazing you are an inspiration to others... and they want to follow you. They want you to lead them. They want to be with you. To learn from you . . . and yes, being honest . . . to benefit from what you have to give to them. Even if there is a great cost involved . . . because they believe WHO YOU ARE and WHAT YOU ARE OFFERING is worth the price that must be paid.
So, all you have to do is - be amazing! And when you are, you will inspire people and when you inspire them, you will influence/motivate them.
Are you thinking, this is no comfort at all?
I'm not amazing. I'm just ordinary. Pretty run-of-the-mill, down home, average!
I can't inspire people like that!
Now, I am going to lead you hanging for a bit. I'll come back to this topic of inspirational leadership in about a week with some thoughts about amazing leadership.
Brian K. Rice
Leadership ConneXtions International