Leadership at the example of Jesus. 5 steps to illustrate his success

Research Paper (postgraduate), 2016

11 Pages, Grade: 1,7




Step 1: To make an appearance

Step 2: To declare a clear vision

Step 3: To create credibility and fascination

Step 4: To bring people into accordance

Step 5: To generate sustainable motivation through hope

Jesus’ negative leading activities



Reference list


Imagine being a citizen of Kafarnaum, a small village in Israel, 2000 years ago. Like most of the other inhabitants you’re a fisherman and your everyday life is constant. Most days in a week you are out at the Sea of Galilee and keep looking for some fish.

Life is hard: During winter time sometimes icy winds are blowing over the deck of the ship and even during summer time violent storms are appearing out of a clear sky like all of a sudden. Although it was sunny and cloudless today, you and your colleagues didn’t catch much fish. Therefore you feel sad and dissatisfied after leaving the wooden ship in the evening. You walk slowly and depressed towards your small clay hut, with your head down. Suddenly you hear a loud voice that you’ve never heard before. You’re wondering where it comes from. Step by step you come closer to that noise.

Finally you reach a crowd listening curiously to a tall, thin man with dark hair and eyes.

You inquire after him and find out that his name is Jesus and he declares something that is called “the kingdom of god”. You’re asking yourself: What does this man want? What is he proclaiming? Why are all the villagers so curious about this charismatic person and what makes him so attracting?

Nowadays research people are in addition to religious believe much interested in getting knowledge about the leadership skills of that mysterious person.

In the following research paper I’ll illustrate in five steps how Jesus became one of the most successful leaders in the history of humanity. In the first step I’ll show how Jesus made himself visible. In the second step I’ll demonstrate what he declared to the people and in the third step his special way of creating credibility and fascination. Also essential for Jesus becoming a successful leader was bringing people into accordance. That will be dealt with in the fourth step. In step number five I’ll demonstrate how he generated sustainable motivation based on the peoples’ hope in him, in god and the promised change. Finally negative or contra productive leading features of Jesus will be debated. I chose this topic because people always talk about Jesus as a religious messiah only. You never hear anyone speaking about his ability, his talent to motivate and convince.

I personally think that this style of leadership, without violence and salary, was very untypical at that time and a whole new experience for the people.

Step 1: To make an appearance

Referring to Kalka, J. (2013) people have to attract attention to be perceived. The first thing Jesus needed was to be heard and seen by people who didn’t even know about his existence. So it was necessary to catch attention first. Like successful managers nowadays do, Jesus used his body language effectively. Therefore, referring to the bible (John 11, 43) he spoke loudly to make himself understood in front of the masses, because according to Ivey (2000) by using your voice you can express warmth, interest as well as authority.

But just as important as a conspicuous voice is what Jesus used to say. The specials in his speeches will be analyzed in the following topics. In the words of the bible (Proverbs 18, 21) the tongue has the power of life and death and those who love it will eat its fruits. So as a matter of fact, based on Wieseneder (2006), successful leaders trust on honesty, clear visions, authenticity and self-discipline during their speeches, because these are values people rely on.

As you can see in the picture below Jesus was searching eye contact with the crowd while speaking to them. According to Ivey (2000) eyes are not only the mirror of the soul, they also show other people that we perceive them. During his orations and sermons he usually showed open palms, also shown in the picture beneath. This is an honest gesture of unfettered give and take. In conformity with Ivey (2000) open palms also signalize that you are willing to hear what other people want to say and make them participate. This is also an encouraging action with regard to management skills.

As already mentioned, a likewise important reason for Jesus' fast high acceptance are the words that came out of his mouth. His messages to the people generated unlimited hope and were the reason for them to follow him. This is clearly emerging from his vision and authority as a leader (The Bible, Mark 1, 23-25).

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten


Step 2: To declare a clear vision

According to Lüdemann (2011) a vision is a process in the human spirit and product of one’s own power of imagination. From a knowledge based on Straw, Scullard, Kukkonen and Davis (2015) an executive leads his people by bringing them to another place they haven’t been before. In their opinion leadership is about changes and executives must have a clear picture of the target of the group in their heads. So a vision is always necessary to lead a group of people in the long-term successfully. It has to be realistic, authentic and motivating for the leader himself and his followers.

Appropriate to this statement is Baseball-Manager Lawrence Peter Berras’ quote “If you don’t know where you are going you might wind up some place else”, also mentioned by Straw, Scullard, Kukkonen and Davis (2015, p.31). In consideration of this predication, a vision can also be interpreted as a guide, a signpost and also a helpful orientation.

Already Jesus himself had a clear vision that was supposed to be his ultimate target.

As laid down in the bible (Markus 1, 38) his mission consisted of declaring the kingdom of god to everyone in Galilee. Therefore he announced his own coming from the kingdom of God. Jesus saw himself as the one who was chosen by God to deliver the good news of God's powerful existence in the world. God's kingdom was coming to replace the might of all worldly sovereignties. But he didn’t only want to declare the kingdom of god. He wanted to summon each one to allocate themselves to god, like he did. It was important for Jesus to declare his vision in simple and clear words directly in front of the people (Mark 1, 15). In line with the bible (Romans 14, 17-18) Jesus told the people that the kingdom of God would not be a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. So for the people the kingdom of God was corresponding to their wishes. According to the bible (Luke 23, 43) it was even described as paradise.

So Jesus created a subjective, pictorial perception in the minds of his auditors which is similar to his own, well received vision. The same is true and applicable for modern leadership.

Step 3: To create credibility and fascination

Based on Griepentrog, W. (2002) a high communication efficiency is reached by brave and credible communication. In his opinion credibility is hard to create. Different factors matter. Honesty, transparency and authenticity are named as the core values of credibility.

Jesus himself created the core values of credibility in an unusual way. Based on the bible (Johannes 9, 1-28) Jesus saw a man who was born blind and prepared a pastry out of his salivary. After that he put it on the blind man’s eyes and the man left for a few moments for washing his eyes. He came back and told Jesus that he would be able to see for the first time in his entire life. But the Jews, as well as the Pharisee, didn’t believe that the man was blind before. So they called the parents of the healed man and after those ensured that their son was born blind, they believed that Jesus had performed a miracle.

According to the bible (John 2, 1-11) Jesus changed water into wine at a wedding at Cana in Galilee and he moreover loosened the tongue of a man who could not speak (Matthew, 9, 32-33). From a knowledge of the “Frankfurter Allgemeine” (2013) a good leader generates wonders especially by making his employees content. A major task of a leader is supporting his employees with wise advices like Jesus did to his followers and even his disciples. According to the bible (Mark 1, 19) Jesus was a real relationship builder by bringing two former enemies called Matthew and Simon the Zealot to friendship.

With the actions mentioned, which are considered as miracles, Jesus created confidence and acceptance. According to Comelli and von Rosenstiel (2001) these two attributes are indispensable presuppositions for a high ranked position in a group of people. In addition either professional expertise, knowledge based methods or human skills are needed to be accepted as a leader.

So Jesus was the only one who had expertise about the kingdom of god which he was proclaiming. His total abandonment fascinated the people and made them believe in him as well. Jesus had human skills nobody had ever seen before and from the knowledge of the bible (Matthew 6, 14-15) he showed justice and fairness to everybody and thus making people become believers.


Excerpt out of 11 pages


Leadership at the example of Jesus. 5 steps to illustrate his success
University of Applied Management Studies  (Hochschule)
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
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512 KB
Jesus, Leadership, steps, appearance, vision, vision of the future, credibility, fascination, accordance, motivation, hope, mission, leader, leading activities
Quote paper
B.A. Philipp Zerna (Author), 2016, Leadership at the example of Jesus. 5 steps to illustrate his success, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/435384


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