The first thing that should be clear about leadership is that it is a call to serve. It is not a way to exert yourself and make others do what you want to do. And it is not about amassing personal wealth in any form. Losing this perspective is a major reason for failure in leadership. If one does not consciously maintain the perspective of “I am here to serve”, you will merely serve yourself with whatever is available. The leader is a servant, the leader is here to serve.
But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles Lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”Matthew 20:25-28 ESV
The “GOD” standard for leadership is simple: are you willing, able and ready to die for the people you hold authority over? If you are not willing to self-sacrifice for them, why should they risk their life and limb for you? A lot of visionary projects die out because the person championing the cause is not selfless enough. People are not stupid, when they see that you are out to serve yourself, they will also hold back and not exert themselves as much as they could. A watchman that wants to succeed must understand this dynamic properly.
When leadership is selfish and self-serving, everyone looks out for themselves first, and that defeats the purpose of “cooperation” in the first place. Human potential is unlimited because we can communicate, collaborate and work collectively at scale. For that to work, there must be trust and leadership is the key. Without leaders that inspire us to level-up and give our very best to the task at hand, our institutions will not work. We came together in order to tap into our collective energy and resources, but selfish leadership destroys that.