Greg Smith, author of Here Today, Here Tomorrow says, the key trait for being a good leader is to care about people. He says a good leader charts a course and gives people direction. The leader has a purpose and works toward a goal. You cannot tell that a person is a good leader by his or her position, or rank, but on how well they do on the job. A good leader creates an environment that attracts, keeps, and motivates people; Smith says the best way to prepare for leadership is by leading at a lower level. In John CH. 10, Jesus declares that He is the Good Shepherd. In explaining that truth, He used the model of a Palestinian shepherd. In doing so, He highlighted some important leadership principles. He said a true shepherd puts the interest of the sheep ahead of his own — so should a leader. He does not sneak over the wall like thieves or robbers do to gain control over the sheep, or use them for monetary gain or to satisfy his lust for power. Rather, a good shepherd loves the sheep, and after he gathers them, he walks ahead of them to lead rather than, without mercy, drive them to do his bidding. Jesus said, a good shepherd-leader is always looking out for the best interest of the sheep, and will even sacrifice his life to protect them. Of course, we will never be the perfect leader that our Lord modeled, but we can strive to be our best.
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