Leadership is often learned in the earliest years of our lives. My best leadership lessons were learned by observation. Scott H. was the biggest, baddest boy on my block.  He made (and broke) the rules, picked the teams, and generally made life miserable for any unlikely interloper that would cross his path.  Scott ruled the roost because might was right in our ten-year-old world.  In high school, Bill S. charmed every teacher.  His dizzying intellect made teachers sigh, and debate teams shudder.  Bill had brains enough for all of us.  In college, Hank was the stud.  He had people savvy, good looks, and a good-old-boy sense of humor.  Scott, Bill, and Hank all had innate leadership styles.  I have to admit Scott’s autocratic style was my least favorite.  But he spoke, and the gang followed.  When I think of true leadership, brains and brawn seem to be the least of my prerequisites.  The great leaders I’ve known had a voice that they followed, undeterred by the world’s clamor.  They saw something others failed to observe, and with white-hot determination they charted their course.  Jesus led by hearing from another world, by seeing into an alternate reality something more compelling than the here and now.  He led-and millions have followed.  Jesus described his leadership style in a quite unconventional way in John 10:14-17:14:  “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me-  just as the Father knows me and I know the Father-and I lay down my life for the sheep.  I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.” NIV  Most of us would agree that a shepherd wouldn’t be found on the cover of Fortune 500.  This Good Shepherd now has billions in His flock.  I can’t imagine following anyone else.

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