“Everything rises and falls on leadership,” according to John Maxwell. “A good leader is big enough to admit his mistakes, smart enough to profit from them, and strong enough to correct them.” But leaders are human and can let us down. It’s not hard to be angry with our leaders, of the local community, state, or nation, or a local business. Even family and church leaders fail us. From bullying to lack of vision to arrogance, poor leaders are easy to spot and good leaders are hard to come by. It does us well to recognize some qualities of good leadership.

Pilate was a poor leader, of faulty character and no integrity. He knew Jesus was king and His kingdom was not of this world. He knew the chief priests were up to no good but delivered Christ to be crucified out of envy and vengeance, no real threat or fact. He knew Jesus wasn’t guilty. He tried to release Jesus and pleaded with the crowd not to sentence Him, but wishing to satisfy them, he sentenced Him to be crucified instead. He covered His tracks and succumbed to the pressures of crowd mentality and mob rule. He feared for his job and loss of position and did the wrong thing. When do you know the right thing to do but don’t do it? Pilate didn’t learn that lesson. He is an example of poor leadership.

Christ is our best leader and the best example of the perfect qualities of a leader. Whether you lead your family or church, hold a position in the community, state, or national level, or lead a team on the field or employees at a business, Christ’s example is true. He was humble and calm in the face of opposition and danger. He stayed focused on His mission and dedicated to His purpose. He knew where He was from and where He was going. He patiently spoke the truth and bore witness to the truth. As the best leader, God incarnate, fully man and fully God, He gave Himself up on the cross, to die for sin and sinners who could not redeem themselves. Good leaders are not leading for selfish gain or to lord it over others but will sacrifice, even themselves, for those they lead. Christ knew what was best for His people. This is the love of a leader and best leadership.

Someone said, “Bad leadership is like a flat tire. It’s hard to go anywhere until you change it.” Leaders let us down. We pray for our leaders, both bad and good, to do the right thing. We pray for their failings and fallings. We are thankful for their successes and patient with their shortcomings. We look to Christ, our best leader. We pray for ourselves as we lead those we are responsible for, that we would lead like Christ.