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Why You Absolutely Must Become Like a Child to Be a Great Leader

I believe Jesus is the son of God. I also believe Jesus is the best leader the world has ever seen. While you might not agree with the former statement, the latter one is more difficult to refute. Think about it. In only a few years, Jesus took 12 men, united them around a common mission and vision, and left such an impact on these men that all of them (aside from John) sacrificed their lives for his cause.

And that’s impressive enough, but then you consider who was included in Jesus’ inner circle. Among others, a tax collector (Jew working for the Roman government), a doctor, a Zealot (group who believed in fanatical measures to bring in religious ideals) and fishermen. That’s the modern-day equivalent of someone taking orders from ISIS to rob their own people, a college professor or surgeon, a political activist, and several construction workers all coming together. Wow! This is what Jesus accomplished in a very short period of time.

How? The life Jesus modeled. People might be attracted to someone because of what they see. But people follow someone because of who they are. And the more time these 12 apostles spent with Jesus, the more they believed in his teachings. What was it Jesus modeled?

Yes, Jesus proclaimed (and was) the Messiah, the chosen son of God. But words don’t inspire followers. Jesus taught and modeled an upside-down worldview. It was counter-intuitive and counter-cultural. And I believe his leadership is summed up in one idea: becoming a child.

This sounds strange, I know. But don’t misunderstand what I am saying. Jesus wasn’t advocating childish behavior. He was advocating child-like behavior. Jesus said it this way:

I’m telling you, once and for all, that unless you return to square one and start over like children, you’re not even going to get a look at the kingdom, let alone get in. Matthew 18:3

In other words, Jesus wasn’t telling the apostles to remain like children. He was telling them to become like children. What does this mean? What is the greatest leader in the history of the world trying to tell us? Well, everything. At least everything about being a great leader. Here are nine reasons you must become a child to be a great leader.

1) TRUST: Children know where to run when the situation is beyond their control. 

Children know their limitations. My oldest son, Noah, is very independent. He loves to do things on his own. But Noah understands he isn’t all-powerful. And the moment he realizes he can’t do something, he cries out for his mom and dad.

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Frank lives in Jackson, TN with his amazing wife and two boys. He loves black coffee and doing stuff outside like golf and running.