Leadership: Where did we wrong?

We are products of the choices we make and slaves of the paradigms we adopt.

Power and authority plays important roles in all forms of leaderships. The people we describe as “Good Leaders” are those who exercise authority without making their power visible. Theses are the people with enormous goodwill. The old addage, “Power corrupts” is not necessarily true. But what is true is that leaders who misuse their power fall into the trap of thinking that they are invincible. Power is a great assest. But, if not controlled properly, it will control you.

Serving is not the abdication of power but the right use of it. Generally, when we speak of serving we imply subjection, obedience, discipline, and even bondage. It is also assumed that the term “serving leader” is a contradiction, because servants do not lead. In the mind of Jesus it was not even a paradox. The serving of the master is a paradox only for those who cannot but view these two as mutually exclusive. But, for Jesus they were one and the same. He could not envisage a master who did not serve.

A few years ago, during a leadership retreat, one of the participants shared with me how disillusioned he feels about his accomplishments. I began to feel a great sorrow deep within me as we conversed because I know that this man is the envy of at least three generations of aspiring leaders. He is a leader of leaders. Hundreds want to do what he does. Thousands want to learn from him the secret of successful leadership.

“Where do you think you have gone wrong?” I asked him.

“In my eagerness to get things done, I forgot to take people with me. I failed to invest in people. Now I am at the top, but I am all alone. There is no one to stand with me.”

I felt sorry for him. Do you understand why I felt sorry? After all his accomplishments he still felt disillusioned. But I felt it more for the people he was leading. They are the ones who missed out because of his failure. They were like sheep without a shepherd. There is no shortage of leaders in today’s world. But where are the shepherds?


Does our position in community shape our character and determine how we behave towards others?

Why did Jesus choose to live “as one who serves?”

Why do we find it difficult to choose to live “as one who serves?”


[1] Paradox is the ability of apparent contradictions to exist side by side. 

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