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Jesus - Philosophy, Ethics and LeadershipJesus - Philosophy, Ethics and Leadership


Jesus (c4 BC-c30 AD)


Jewish teacher, philosopher and founder of Christianity (pictured right in Dirk Bouts' painting from c 1470-75).

Chose 12 disciples to help him but eventually crucified just outside Jerusalem.

One of history’s most influential people, but nobody knows what he looked like.


Why was he a great leader and philosopher?

Jesus - Philosophy, Ethics and Leadership


1. Vision and mission

He wanted a better world for everyone in which people would forget about themselves and love others.

He gave his followers the mission of making everyone in the world his disciples.


2. Brilliant communicator

His Sermon on the Mount was a superb speech:

  • short and clear.
  • relevant to people. Jesus - Philosophy, Ethics and Leadership 

He responded to their needs by listening to them.

His message of love and forgiveness has been extremely powerful and influential.

To explain complicated ideas he used:

  • short stories (or parables).
  • metaphors (e.g. it is easier for a rich man to enter heaven than a camel passing through an eye of a needle)
  • exaggeration (e.g. if your eye stops you doing your best, rip it out).

 Jesus - Philosophy, Ethics and Leadership

3. Love

He loved people whatever their social position.

He particularly believed in the love of self-sacrifice like helping others when it hurts you (called altruism) e.g. his crucifixion.

He also preached what is now known as the Golden Rule:

Love your neighbour as yourself (i.e. treat others as you would like to be treated).


4. Revolutionary

He told people to live completely different lives:


a) don’t be selfish

Put God and others first.

 Jesus - Philosophy, Ethics and Leadership

b) think God

Listen to what God wants (e.g. by prayer and reading the Bible) and do it.


c) free yourself from money

Don’t let money dominate your life.

 Jesus - Philosophy, Ethics and Leadership

d) be good and don’t be hypocritical

“Happy are the pure in heart”, he said.


e) forgive

  • forgive and love people who harm you.
  • return good for evil.
  • love your enemies.
  • replace revenge with love (“Turn the other cheek”, he said) .

 Jesus - Philosophy, Ethics and Leadership

f) don’t worry

(because tomorrow will look after itself).


g) don’t fear death

(because there is life after death).


h) treat everybody the same

(including the poor and unpopular).

Everyone has:

  • feelings.
  • the right to be treated with dignity and respect.

 Jesus - Philosophy, Ethics and Leadership

i) repent

  • admit your faults.
  • do something about them.


j) don’t be guilty

Confess your wrongdoings (or sins) and God will forgive them.

 Jesus - Philosophy, Ethics and Leadership

5. Integrity

People have followed Jesus because he:

  • was a good man who lived by his principles.
  • put his words into action.

“He went about doing good”, St. Peter said.

Jesus - Philosophy, Ethics and Leadership 

6. Reflection

He always thought and prayed about a decision before carrying it out like in the Garden of Gethsemane just before he was arrested and crucified.


7. Courage with consensus

He had the courage to do what’s right and won people over with his tolerance, compassion and calmness.

Happy is the peacemaker”, he said.

He was able to touch people’s hearts including the poorest and most hated like tax collectors and prostitutes.

 Jesus - Philosophy, Ethics and Leadership

8. Humility with resolution

He was very determined and single-minded to tell everybody his message, but usually he carried it out very quietly.

He had great humility and was never arrogant or superior.


Key quotes on love

Love your neighbour as yourself.

Love your enemies.

Turn the other cheek.


Key quotes on happiness

Happy are the pure in heart.

It is much more blessed to give than to receive


Key quote on business ethics

What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul?


Key quote on influencing people

Judge not, that you be not judged.

Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone.


Key quote on success

Many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.


Key quote on war

All that take the sword shall perish with the sword.


Key quote on empowerment

Much is required from the person to whom much is given”.


Key quote on learning and wisdom

The truth will make you free.


Key quotes on money

Don’t pile up treasures on earth... but keep your treasures in heaven.

You cannot serve God and money.


Key quote on corporate culture

Every city or house divided against itself shall not stand.

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