Is this your picture of leadership?
Doubtful. Most leaders, being humans, seek to admired and thought highly of. For many, that is the very reason they pursued positions of leadership.
Leaders desired to be thought of as brilliant, bold, courageous, insightful, innovative, successful, masterful, held in high esteem, etc., etc.
Rarely would one seek to become a leader or content themselves with a description such as this…
He was despised and rejected by men;
a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not. ~Isaiah 53:3 ESV
What leader would hope to be despised, rejected, and not esteemed?
What leader would hope to be a “man of sorrows” or “acquainted with grief”?
Conventional leaders would consider those marks of failure.
Yet Jesus did not.
The ultimate model of leadership did not seek to avoid these worldly marks of failure. On the contrary, Jesus’ vision for His life and purpose was so grand that he would endure the worst of this world.
looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. ~Hebrews 12:3
He would endure, persevere, and finish “For the joy set before him.”
For the joy set before him Jesus would:
Endure false accusations
Endure injustice trials
Endure the denial of truth again and again
Endure public rejection
Endure torture and mockery
Endure publicly the pain and agony of the cross
Endure death as a false accused man surrounded by criminals
What leader would would seek this? What leader would succeed through it? This was Jesus’ commitment to the vision, mission, and purpose of His Earthly ministry.
“…for the joy set before him.” ESV
“…because of the joy that God put before him.” NCV
“…because of the joy that was awaiting for him…” GNT
“…that exhilarating finish in and with God…” MSG
To have the sort of perspective that Jesus had as a leader would allow us to endure for our vision, mission, and purpose.
Every leader must clearly see the “joy” that awaits them at the the end of their journey. This provides the power and purpose to endure. Without that perspective, it is unlikely a leader’s endurance and perseverance will overcome the pain, sorrows, and difficulties that accompany the accomplishing of any great thing.
The road to a leader attaining the “joy” set before him or her, that awaiting joy, that exhilarating finish, is filled with many challenges. But the leader must fix their eyes upon, keep their eyes on, and continually look to Jesus. He is the model of what endurance for vision and purpose look like.
It may not be glamorous. It may be difficult and filled with many things that will have to endured. But “joy” set before leaders, the accomplished vision, mission, and purpose is worth the pain.
Ask, what you would be willing to suffer for, be despised for, and endure to achieve?
Lord, help us as leaders, to have your perspective and your endurance.