Malcolm Webber is one of my favorite leaders of leaders. With a PhD and over 20 books on leadership to his credit, he insightfully describes the dangers of a self-appointed leader in his book Healthy Leaders. He draws insight from a self-appointed leader named Korah described in the Old Testament book of Numbers, chapters 16-17. I’ve paraphrased these dangers below and contrasted them with 6 qualities of true God-appointed leaders.
- … resist existing spiritual authority (Nm 16.2).
- … criticize and question existing leaders (Nm 16.1).
- … accuse other leaders of what they themselves are guilty (Nm 16.3).
- … aren’t satisfied with the positions they hold. They push for greater authority and position (Nm 16.10).
- … murmur against leadership that God has appointed (Nm 16.11).
- … ultimately face God’s judgement (Nm 16.31-35).
- … willing submit to existing authority (Daniel’s repeated examples).
- … when issues and questions arise, they appropriately appeal up the chain of command and go to their leaders in private and in person (Mt 18.15)
- … avoid a judgmental spirit (Mt 7.1-5)
- … wait on God to promote them (Paul and Moses spent years in obscurity before rising to significant leadership)
- … only speak well of their leaders whether to their faces, behind their backs, or in the presence of others (Eph 4.29).
- … lead with the eternal goal in mind to hear Jesus say, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Mt 25.21).
Of these two lists, which one most characterizes your leadership? If the first list does, what changes do you need to make so that list two most characterizes you?