The Book on Leadership

By John MacArthur
The truest kind of leadership requires service, sacrifice and selflessness.
Leadership is influence, to motivate from the inside. You have to have character to do
Character, not style, is the best test of leadership.
The real leader is the one you can follow and that leader follows Christ.
Paul wasn’t a leader of troops or high position but he was a man of influence.
When Paul started his trip to Caesarea, he was of the lowest position (he’s a prisoner)
yet he makes his way to the highest influence before it is over with.
The following points are taken out of the life of Paul according to Acts 27:
1. A Leader is Trustworthy. – As a prisoner he gained the trust of Julius who was over him… enough to let him
have freedom and receive help from his friends.
– A leader is not one who is consumed with his own well being but that of others. A
selfish person cannot lead others because they will soon leave him. Show people
you have their best interest at heart.
2. A leader has Initiative – Paul had no title or position yet he saw that it would be dangerous to travel
therefore he told/warned them.
– A leader doesn’t wait and see what others will do, he takes the initiative. The
leader says here’s the problem and here’s how to solve it.
1 Te Book on Leadership by John MacArtur Book Summary by Jeffrey Bush
3. A Leader Use Good Judgement – A wise leader doesn’t make a decision that gambles with the lives of others. Don’t
make decisions that leads people down dark alleys or to cliffs.
4. A Leader Speaks with Authority – Paul speaks with confidence that the men have no need to fear because God
was with him(Paul). He could speak with boldness and assurance not because
he was something but because he was certain God was going to come through.
– A leader can stand on God’s word and speak with authority. We have God’s spirit
and truth. So a leader must know God’s word. A leader doesn’t have to doubt but
lays out a clear and cut-out plan. We can speak with authority if we are speaking
God’s word.
– Christ spoke with authority, the opposite of the scribes. We can say “thus saith
the Lord”.
5. A Leader Strengthens Others – Paul stood in the midst of them and told them to take courage even though they
were in the midst of a storm and scared for their lives — Acts 27:25. He gave
them a reason for hope when they had no hope.
– A leader is placed to help encourage and strengthen those he is with.
6. A Leader is Optimistic and Enthusiastic – He was on his way to Rome in chains, yet he was still optimistic. He was the
least likely on the ship to be optimistic, but as a leader he was unmoved by the
current circumstances. He took courage. Such optimism is contagious.
– His optimism even gave way to share about his God with those who did not
– People will not stay with someone who is negative and looks down on everything.
– Genesis 39:35 – God blessed Pharaoh’s house because of Joseph. God blessed
Laban because of Jacob. Those with Paul on the ship were blessed because of
Paul. And God blesses many people when his children are doing their job.
2 Te Book on Leadership by John MacArtur Book Summary by Jeffrey Bush
7. A Leader Never Compromises the Absolutes – There are many things that can and should be compromised on such as
preferences or non important issues. But there are other issues that we cannot
move on, those that are based in the word of God.
8. A Leader Focuses on Objectives and not Obstacles – Paul told them to eat so they could be ready for the next step.
9. A Leader Empowers by Example – Paul broke the bread, gave thanks and ate. He took charge by example
The following points are Paul in Corinth – a leader under fire – 2 Corinthians:
10. A Leader Cultivates Loyalty – The wise leader cultivates loyalty by being loyal.
– You cannot lead by sheer force, that is dictatorship. You must lead with loving
loyalty. In other words, our hearts have to be in our people and our people in our
– You can demand devotion if you lead by devotion.
11. A Leader has Empathy for Others – Empathy is the ability to feel as other people feel.
– Paul had been wronged by the Corinthians yet he still confirmed them.
– A leader must allow the people to fail, encourage them and then help them when
they fail. People need to be built up when they fail, not further flattened.
12. A Leader Keeps a Good Conscience – A good conscious is essential for a leader.
– Conscience is to the soul what pain-like feelings are to the body.
– Conscience is a moral self-awareness.
3 Te Book on Leadership by John MacArtur Book Summary by Jeffrey Bush
13. A Leader is Definitive and Decisive – A leader must be able to make decisions.
14. A Leader must know when to Change his Mind – Everyone makes mistakes, but you must know when to change.
15. A Leader must not Abuse his Authority – Paul had authority but he did not abuse it.
– Paul loved more and was loved less.
– People will hurt you but a leader must continue.
16. A Leader doesn’t Advocate his Defense – Paul responded to their accusations and moved on. Paul’s response was telling
them that they knew him.
17. A Leader is Sure of his Own Calling – Paul did not waver in his calling from Christ even though others may have
doubted or asked.
– You cannot lead others if you’re not sure of you’re own calling.
– You will be ineffective if you do not know that you’re doing what you’re supposed
to be doing.
– Unless you are sure of you’re calling than every trial, obstacle or problem will
make you doubt and question why you are doing what you’re doing.
– Paul’s sufficiency was in Christ, not himself.
18. A Leader Knows his own Limitations – The leader who forgets his own weaknesses will fail.
– Paul’s weaknesses reminded him of his need for Christ.
4 Te Book on Leadership by John MacArtur Book Summary by Jeffrey Bush
19. A Leader is Resilient – A leader, while knowing his own weaknesses, must still find strength to continue
– True leadership is tested in crisis. The true leader handles the stress, bears the
burden, and finds a solution when everyone else is scared.
– He was weak in his own self but strong in Christ.
– In 11:24-27 he mentions some of his scars but he was still moving forward. He
was battered and bruised but still bringing glory to God.
20. A Leader must have Passion
21. A Leader is Courageous – No one follows a coward.
– Pauls courage was equal to his compassion. He was compassionate but he was
not a pushover either, he had courage.
– He said that he had instruments that were not carnal. He was fighting and willing
to fight.
22. A Leader is Discerning – We must learn the Scriptures and be armed to use them.
23. A Leader must have Discipline – Many of the most talented people do not have discipline.
– Paul said he will run legitimately, disciplining his body so that he would not be
– Moral failure has taken many down… it is a discipline problem. Self restraint.
– Discipline is self denial. It teaches us to say no to things we are entitled to.
– We live in a undisciplined world.
– The small things are important.
5 Te Book on Leadership by John MacArtur Book Summary by Jeffrey Bush
24. A Leader is Energetic – A leader cannot and must not be lazy. You cannot walk away when only half way
– Keep your body under control, don’t let your body control you.
– Have passion to finish the race.
25. A Leader knows how to Delegate – You cannot do it all yourself, nor should you. You will not get it done by yourself
and you will never teach others if you do not delegate.
– Paul encouraged Timothy to equip others and you do this by delegating.
26. A Leader is Christ like
6 Te Book on Leadership by John MacArtur

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