What made Jesus the world’s greatest leader? This is what I’m taking a look at. In 2 Corinthians 3:18, we read that we who have been born from above are being transformed into the likeness of Jesus with ever-increasing glory. Therefore, it makes sense for us to study his characteristics and then consciously pray those characteristics into our own lives.

One outstanding quality I notice in Jesus is that he knew what his mission was, he stayed focused, and he didn’t try to jump through the expectation-hoops of others. Do you remember when the disciples told him the whole town was waiting to hear him speak and Jesus responded by saying that he had other plans for the day—his mission was to go to other towns. He didn’t let anyone take him off his mission. One man asked him to settle an argument between him and his brother, and Jesus answered, “Who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?” (Luke 12:14) That wasn’t what he had come to do, and he didn’t get sidetracked.

We can apply this in so many ways in our everyday lives. So often we allow ourselves to get sidetracked as we do our jobs and, as a result, never seem to get things accomplished. One great time-management technique is to refuse to be sidetracked and stay with the job until it’s done. Do you find that you’re often sidetracked? This might be something you need to pray about and change.

In addition, Jesus knew what his mission was. Are you clear about your own mission—in your job, in your home, in your church, in your own life? I would encourage you to write your own life’s mission statement, in just a sentence or two, and then make sure that everything you do contributes to that mission. Ask yourself, “What is it I need to do on my job above all else?” Make certain that what you’re doing on a day-to-day basis contributes to that mission. You may be very busy doing things that really don’t matter!

Do you find yourself frequently trying to please everyone? Certainly, we shouldn’t try to displease anyone, but when you feel a need to have everyone’s approval, you will be easily distracted and easily manipulated. Jesus knew that sometimes you must disappoint people in order to stay on track and do what you should do. Have you learned that lesson?

What I’ve discovered is that the best way to please the most people is to focus on pleasing the Lord. In Proverbs 16:7 we read “When a man’s ways are pleasing to the Lord, he makes even his enemies live at peace with him.” When we please the Lord, we’ll have our best shot at pleasing other people. However, we’ll never be able to please everyone—to try to do that is to invite disaster.