Part I: Leading Through The Eyes of Jesus

Meeting of shareholders

Written by Dr. Kelly Whelan

Dr. Whelan is the Founder and CEO of Belem LLC. She specializes in partnering, empowering, and positioning executive leaders and teams for success by helping them design strategies that create stakeholder impact.

June 15, 2020


Like you, I’ve witnessed the good, the bad, and the ugly when it comes to leadership.

Whether you realize it or not, your leadership has been years in the making, developed and crafted over time. That crafting may be from years of boots on the ground experience, studying leaders in action, or leading by the seat of your pants. Regardless, the outcome is yours to own.


Incorporating leadership models from Bible to Boardroom has excellent potential for transforming leaders by putting less focus on “us” and more on the One who created us.


Whether you lead an organization, a team, family, or yourself, when you seek to lead through the eyes of Jesus, the decisions you make on a day-to-day basis calls for a standard of excellence. Living off the cuff, making feel-good decisions without regard for consequences can create turmoil for your followers and yourself.

To focus on excellence, you, as leader, must first be confident in your leadership, know God’s heart, and sit in the space of being less relevant. Yes, less relevant. Because when you know Jesus, the heart of your leadership will be less about you and more about Him. 


Observing The Word

The principles of leading are embedded in the oldest leadership playbook, the Bible. It is within the pages of the Bible that demonstrate how to be a living example to a world that’s watching. Just like you and me, Jesus had fears, frustrations, and struggles. Yet his focus remained on the mission before him.

Love, compassion, and understanding are just some of the principles that Jesus demonstrated.

To look at others with the eyes of Jesus means not being quick to blame or put oneself above others. It means to forgive and to admit mistakes. Leaders who incorporate Biblical instruction into their organizations will find less egocentrism and more obedience to serving as we focus on doing God’s will and less on our own. When we shine the light on biblical principles for leadership, we trust Him and the Word to direct our steps.


If you choose the Bible as your leadership manual it only seems right to unpack the information within.  


When conforming to Gospel teachings, an obedient, humble servant who turns away from self-righteousness becomes the outcome. In doing so, leaders have an opportunity to grow organizations in a way that positively impacts performance and the bottom line. My colleague, Lourens Delport of South Africa, recently reminded my podcast audience that “love stands central to productivity in organizations.” How we demonstrate our leadership and how we love our people generates increased performance and, in turn, the bottom line that so many leaders use as their measuring stick for success.


Adjusting Our Focus

Since the beginning of time, we have witnessed leaders from around the globe participate in a walk of shame as their demonstrations of power, privilege, and entitlement went amiss. In the name of greed and personal power, these leaders have tarnished their reputations, organizations, and their families.

Ethics in the workplace is a global concern with cover-ups and corruption witnessed with our own eyes inside our organizations. In a sink or swim world, the bottom line is a crucial element. For many, the bottom-line figure equates success or failure. Because of this, leaders succumb to the darkness, revealing unethical, immoral actions, and behaviors to maintain their organizations’ financial health.

Matthew 6:21-24 calls us to have healthy eyes that are not full of darkness or are serving two masters. This darkness can blind leaders and motivate them towards unethical, toxic, disloyal behaviors. As leader, you are to be generous with your time, talent, and treasure not misguided by greed or power. So how can leaders toe the line?


When leaders focus their thoughts and actions on doing the right thing because it is the right thing to do, they heighten ethical standards by eliminating moral hypocrisy.


Leaders can establish mutual trust with followers by demonstrating self-sacrificial behavior and communicate openness. Leaders have an opportunity to encourage ethical behavior amongst their followers by developing strategies to assess, challenge, and support the environment to reveal right from wrong. Putting defensive and proactive tactics in place can help. These tactics can include:

  • Zero tolerance policies
  • Performance evaluations that detect unethical behavior
  • Punishment for repeated offenders
  • Implementing a code of ethics
  • Appointing a Chief Ethics Officer
  • Have clear lines of accountability
  • Protection for whistle-blowers
  • Providing training

Maintaining a consistent impression that bleeds the organization’s core values based on biblical principles will bring leaders out of the darkness so they can adjust their focus to ethical and moral values.  It is up to leadership to model and own truth and integrity so followers can too. The consistency that a leader displays to followers can, in fact, prepare future leaders to be virtuous and supply the next generation of leaders with a moral road map, which can lead to an ethical culture and overwhelming organizational success.

Leave me a comment below and let me know what or with whom you align your leadership with? Be sure to stop back for Part II & III of Leading Through The Eyes of Jesus.

Until next time, keep doing great things!

Be sure to tune in to our podcast CONVERSATIONS For Leaders & Teams, or on Apple Podcast, Spotify, or your favorite listening platform!

Click here to purchase your copy of Leadership Excellence By Design: Strategies For Sustainability & Strength on Amazon! Leadership By Design. Book by Dr. Kelly Whelan.

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  1. Dr. Widza Bryant

    I truly enjoyed reading this blog. It speaks volume and confirms my beliefs that leaders can benefit greatly from using the Bible as a guide.

  2. Dr. Kelly Whelan

    Dr. Bryant, thank you for stopping in and commenting on the blog post! Indeed, there are many benefits to integrating biblical principals into our leadership practices.


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