He didn’t say much, at least as far as we know. He didn’t leave any writings behind. Compared with today’s Life gurus who have vast CD programmes, video collections and podcasts on subscription, perhaps their own TV channels, he did not have a serous chance of success. He was in office for 3 years only. And nobody knows exactly what he did before that job, other than he disappeared for a month and a half in solitude, not on a training course, apparently to prepare himself.
Although in the religious business, his first management team was composed of fishermen, not PhDs or theologians. He used analogies, parables and stories. No PowerPoint, bullet points or ‘the 10 strategic imperatives are’. He did not make any money. He walked around. He wasn’t an armchair producer of messages.
He irritated both his family and the powers of the day. He did not mingle with the jet set of the time and preferred the lowly. He did speak up. He had a mission. At the end he was murdered. Not until 70 years later did people start to write his memoires.
This is an impossible CV for a leader. He would not pass any recruitment screening today. What he started more than 2000 years ago, still continues today with 2.2 billion followers. Mr. Jesus from Nazareth, as leader, defeats most conventional assumptions.
As his followers of the Christian world start a Holy Week of remembrance in the next days, and regardless your own religious beliefs, it’s worth pausing to reflect how much Leadership can learn from the unconventional, the disruptive, the authentic, the purposeful, the humble, and the servant.
2000 years plus later, still going.
Thank you Leandro!!!
Talking about Jesus is now a days brave, as you could be called at least controversial, when not fundamentalist. And I think is very important to talk about him outside of the churchs and of the Church. Not from the religious perspective but from the humanistic one.
People seek leadership as success, instant fame and money (S. Jobs like) when the truth is, as you point here, that leadership is based on humbleness, sacrifice and a deed sence of purpose to serve human kind above one self.
No offence made to Steve Jobs which I admire a lot also, for many human values.
Personally I think religion is something that should only be allowed between consenting adults in private! However it may be timely to consider the oft-asked question “What if Jesus were alive today?”
As it happens, three of the years I lived in China were spent in the birthplace of Hong Xiu Quan, a revolutionary hero I’d never heard of. From an early age his educational attainments belied his humble origins. His talents led him to Guangzhou (Canton) but like many others, he was unsuccessful in several attempts to pass the imperial court examinations. Following that, he converted to Christianity. He had a dream, a vision, that he was the son of God, the younger brother of Jesus, and they had told him to go and annihilate demons. His Messianic mission was to overthrow the corrupt Manchu, and to rule a pure but spartan China with no opium, no alcohol, no foot-binding, no idolatry and no ancestral offerings. At the height of his power his movement, the Heavenly Kingdom of the Taiping, with more than 50 million followers, did indeed manage to overthrow the government in Nanjing, and held control for eleven years until the Qing regained it, during which time it is estimated that twenty million people died – greater casualties than the first world war.
Even though his memory is now revered in China as this was the first peasant uprising against their Manchu oppressors, I am sure that had he lived today he would have been imprisoned for sedition much like Liu Xiaobo the Nobel Peace prize winner, and his movement hounded and outlawed just as Falun Gong is.