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Christianity and Business: How to be a Successful Leader?

Updated on November 9, 2015

Why is it an important leadership trait to serve others first?

Serving others first in a leadership role, otherwise known as servant leadership, is a widely forgotten role. Servant leadership has literature on it that dates back to fifth century BC when Lao-Tzu wrote about the best leadership is when people don’t realize its leadership at all, and they believe they all accomplished the goal at the end rather than one person receiving all of the praise (Heskett, 2013). This leadership is important because at the end, it was a team effort. If one person could have done it alone, it would have been done alone. To gain all of the praise rather than serving the people is to be in the leadership role for gain rather than to help. If Jesus could wash the feet of others, why can’t we follow in his footsteps. John13:12-15 is excellent scripture to lead us in the path of serving others first. This servant leadership causes others to lead by example, and more ends up getting done and everyone feels as if they helped. This creates a better moral among one another and not one person gains a large ego.

How can a person become a successful leader by being humble?

To be a successful leader by being humble is to realize that you are human just like each and every person you are leading. You were all made in the eyes of God, in his vision. To be humble means to realize each person has something valid to offer to the team and to not dismiss the person due to what one may deem as ‘stature.’ Ultimately leadership is about service, and in order to serve you must be humble. It takes humility to admit one’s mistakes and to correct them to go further.

Edward Hess (2007) gives six factors that create an organic growth in a company, and one of the six keys is humble leaders. A leader can be humble and great. Leaders who are at their company working their way to the top help to not forget where they started. This worked for CEO of Best Buy, Brad Anderson who views his customers as kings and queens and employees as royalty (Hess, 2007).

Servant Leadership? What is it?

Servant leadership has proven successful for co-founder of Southwest Airlines Herb Kelleher who aims to treat the company’s 35,000 employees like family. Their motto is to follow the Golden Rule of doing what they would like done to them. This upbeat attitude and serving others first has created an efficient business model (Barrett, 2011).

people-centric, valued service to others and believed they had a duty of stewardship. Nearly all were humble and passionate operators who were deeply involved in the details of the business. Most had long tenures in their organizations. They had not forgotten what it was like to be a line employee.

They believe that every employee should be treated with respect and have the opportunity to do meaningful work. They led by example, lived the “Golden Rule,” and understood that good intentions are not enough — behaviors count. These leaders serve the organization and its multiple stakeholders. They are servant leaders.

The Holy Cross

Handmade cross from South Carolina
Handmade cross from South Carolina | Source

What is the importance of relying on Jesus’ will and ways as it relates to leadership?

In John 13:12-15, Jesus wanted others to follow his example and wash one another’s feet. His way was to do for others and not think of himself. 1 Peter 5:2-4 has people serving eagerly rather than for gain. The importance of relying on Jesus’ will and ways, and the Bible as a whole is to follow it in a humble manner. The Bible teaches humility, leadership, fellowship, love, compassion, and many more values and morals that can all be wrapped up into leadership. Leadership is not just one skill; rather it is the collective of all of the Bible’s teachings. An effective leader emulates these qualities to the best of their ability. If all of these skills were mastered, they would combine to create the best leader of all, Jesus.


Barrett, C. (2011). Servant leadership. Leadership Excellence, 28(10), 4-5. Retrieved from

Heskett, J. (2013). Why isn’t servant leadership more prevalent? Forbes Magazine Online. Retrieved from

Hess, E. D. (2007). Humble leaders. Leadership Excellence, 24(5), 10. Retrieved from

The Holy Bible. NIV.

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    • Ashley DeCleene profile imageAUTHOR

      Ashley DeCleene 

      4 years ago from Lexington, South Carolina

      I believe that especially in America it is an on going struggle for a separation of church and state. Where I conduct business there is possibly a thin grey line between the two and the church is certainly that if Christian faiths. Though I have an open mind to other religions this does come from personal experience in conducting business.

      You are certainly correct that this is biased towards the Christian faith. This is why I included Christianity in the opening title. I do not imply that this is the only way to have a success but this is a belief or opinion none the less. I am not here to undermine any other religion but merely interpret successful business through the eyes of a Christian. I would be certainly open to reading articles that may relate other faiths to success or detriment. Thank you for your comment. It is always nice to see how others do interpret information provided

    • pramodgokhale profile image


      4 years ago from Pune( India)


      I do not know the relation between religion and business . Service to the community is divine as most businessmen say.

      I found this article communal and biased against other religions.


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