Have you ever wondered why some organizations are very successful and some are failures? Many people think that the skills and talents of the leader are what make a strong organization healthy. There are those who believe that a casting of the vision and conveying the information to a group of people will lead to success. There’s a lot of truth to these statements however, I have come to believe that there is much more to the failures of organizations beyond the talents of one leader. It has a lot to do with the recruitment of those that are being led.
The teachings of Jesus show the greatest examples of how to lead people. His approach in leading his disciples is a perfect lesson in how to involve individuals in something greater than themselves. The way in which Jesus brought his disciples together is a strong example of someone who knows how to develop the skills and characteristics of people. Take for example the way in which Jesus called his first four disciples.
The first disciples that Jesus recruited were two sets of brothers that shared a common occupation. Their names were Simon Peter his brother Andrew and James and his brother John. All four of these men were fishermen by trade. They understood what it took to make a living by mending nets, casting nets, selecting fishing areas to catch fish and selling their fish at the market.
When Jesus began his ministry of expanding the kingdom of God he came to Simon Peter, Andrew, James and John at the seashore where they fished each day. Jesus developed a relationship with these four men and when he was ready to start his ministry he came to them with a simple statement,
“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people!” (Mark 1:17 NIV)
This one statement clarifies the mission of Jesus and it also uses the skills that were familiar to these four men. A strong leader understands the importance of utilizing the skills of those they lead. Although the mission may be somewhat different, the use of the talents of those that are being led is priceless for any mission or goal.
One of the worst things that happens for any leader is when their goal and the direction they wish to take cannot be understood by those they are trying to lead. Jesus was very clear about what the mission was. That mission was to reach people with the message of the Good News. These four men could do this by using what had become familiar to them. Jesus did not approach the masses of people who were willing to listen to him but he approached a handful of everyday people, fishermen, who wished to be a part of something bigger than themselves.
The approach of Christ to these first four disciples was one of acknowledging that they had skills that could be used for a greater cause. Christ never expressed that their talents as fishermen could not be applied to this movement. In the statement that Jesus made to these disciples it is clear that he never intended to insult these men in any way, but rather he acknowledged that they had skills that could be used.
Jesus also teaches that recruiting people of the same character would establish a firm foundation for the direction of his ministry. These fishermen were accustomed to spending time with one another. They understood each other’s language. They were comfortable with the behavior of the business. It was easy for them to step into the organizational mission structure that Jesus was inviting them to be a part.
Recruiting people of the same character can be beneficial for any leader. It can give a firm foundation to any organization. When you think about this process, it simply makes sense. Finding and involving people who like each other and understand one another can lead any organization or mission to the mountaintop.