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I drove my Chevy to the levee for some think time. Just this morning 13 unsolicited texts, emails, messages and pop-ups hid among important information in my phone with a unified theme – the promise of leadership success. There were a few variations like success in business, relationships, in wealth or power, but all of them screamed one little word me.

I considered the quote by Barbara Kellerman, a lecturer at Harvard University in her remarkable book, The End of Leadership:Being a leader has become a mantra. It is a presumed path to money and power; a medium for achievement, both individual and institutional…

All of this came together to make me feel quite disillusioned. I have devoted my life to teaching students to THINK, DREAM, and LEAD. Was it all in vain? Is this truly the day leadership died?

I came to leadership training reluctantly. A former junkie, Christ had intersected my life dramatically and I saw the success talk as unspiritual. Zig Ziglar spoke at our university and afterwards I questioned whether his message was biblical. Jay, he said, you have to understand that if you want to be a success, you have to first spend your life helping other people become a success. That definition changed my life and would eventually become my calling. Some years later, I had the privilege of developing a friendship with John Maxwell who taught me that influence must be earned and you only do so by serving others. Their books motivated me to personal, intentional growth, but their lives have shown me a pure servant leadership consistently through the years.

The levee turned out to be a good place for thinking, and it gave me this from its dry bed. While it is true that some leaders in Congress, Wall Street, and even religious organizations have not held up a standard of serving others, there remains a strong hope that the next generation will. We cannot give up teaching leadership; but we must teach it accurately.

Jesus taught living leadership to His disciples, and by living, I mean that it was never for them to keep, but it always flowed on to others. It was not about their success, but about their serving and the subsequent success of others. At Student Leadership University, we believe in His model and use it to train students:


About Who God is. Gain clear understanding of His character.

Think deeply with a sure biblical worldview on moral issues.

Think Christianly about the way you treat others and the decisions

you make.


Expect God to use you as an influencer

As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.John 20:21

Believe you can do anything if He calls you to it.

Most assuredly I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also, and greater works than these he will do John 14


Expand your borders

Go into all the worldMatthew 28:18

Look for opportunity to influence.

Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch,Luke 5:6

The mantra of Student Leadership University is Leadership begins at the feet of Jesus. He is alive and has called us to living leadership. Therefore, we can be sure that although leadership may have died in some government and business entities, in some halls of education and media outlets, we can also be sure that it will resurrect itself again and again when carried out in Jesus name.

ByDr. Jay Strack

Join the “Why Ministers Matter” blog tour to read today’s leading pastors and authors share their stories of ministers who made a difference in their lives. Visit for a complete list of virtual tour stops and to link up your own post about a minister who mattered to you! “Why Ministers Matter” blog tour from 10/1/2012 – 10/12/2012.

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