Whether you have a prestigious title or none at all, if you influence someone around you, you are a leader.

 

Are you a Christian who leads with your hands or your heart?

 

In their newly-released book, Lead Like Jesus: Lessons from the Greatest Leadership Role Model of All Time, Ken Blanchard and Phil Hodges ask those critical questions.

 

They assert that the methods adopted by Christians  - in the workplace, the community and at home - will have a lasting impact. That means it is vital for followers of the Master Teacher to model the leadership skills he practiced during his earthly ministry.

 

“Jesus told his disciples if they wanted to lead, they first had to follow,” said Blanchard, a renowned business consultant and the best-selling author of the One Minute Manager and other titles. “It seems a pretty clear mandate.

 

“If we could get Christians to lead like Jesus, their demonstration of that would be to millions.  People would begin to wonder what Christianity was all about.”

 

Blanchard had that revelation nearly a decade ago, during a leadership exercise with 2,500 pastors from across the country.  As the ministers took turns sharing details about their leadership styles, Blanchard was struck by how few referenced Jesus.

 

Just 10 in the group mentioned Christ, and only another 20 said they practiced servant leadership, he said.

 

Out of the experience was born The Center for Faithwalk Leadership, an Augusta, Ga.- based nonprofit ministry which now does business as Lead Like Jesus.

 

Blanchard established the ministry with Hodges, a college friend who led him to Christ in the 1980s.  Hodges worked as a manager in corporate America manager for several decades before becoming a consultant with Blanchard’s training company and co-authoring several books with Blanchard.

 

Since 2003, Blanchard has co-hosted Lead Like Jesus Celebrations with ministry leaders such as Rick Warren, John Ortberg and Henry Blackaby  in five U.S. cities – Birmingham, Ala., Spartanburg, S.C., Louisville, Ky., Pittsburg, Pa. and Richmond, Va.

 

In addition to the nearly 11,000 attendees at the events, more than 1,500 churches have participated via satellite, said Betty Surrency, spokeswoman for Lead Like Jesus.

 

The day-long sessions include speeches by nationally-known figures who follow Christ’s example in their careers, as well as local business or community leaders who practice the Master Teacher’s servant leadership model.

 

After each event, Blanchard and others have returned to the cities to conduct smaller sessions called Leadership Encounter Seminars, with ministry leaders.  Churches worldwide use the Lead Like Jesus workbooks and materials to train their church leaders.