How to lead like Jesus in the corporate world: 3 lessons from Joseph’s life

Today’s “dog-eat-dog” business world can be filled with greed and the pursuit of money, power and position. It is easy to become caught up in the vortex of the pursuit for more. You may be the only one in your office that follows Jesus, and being a Christian in such an environment can be lonely.

In Genesis 37 through 47, we see Joseph, despite being sold into slavery by his brothers, exercise uncompromising leadership and maintain a character beyond reproach, eventually becoming the second most powerful leader in Egypt.

From Joseph’s life example, here are 3 ways we can lead in the corporate world:

1. Show your faith in your character.

Potiphar knew the Lord was with his servant Joseph and was prospering him (Genesis 39:3-4).  He knew Joseph was a man of character and placed him in charge of all his household. Even when Potiphar’s wife attempted to seduce him, Joseph chose to flee and reject her amorous advances, enduring false accusations and eventually ending up in prison. “She caught him by his cloak and said, ‘Come to bed with me!’ But he left his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house” (Genesis 39:12).

Character is revealed in actions. Choosing to act in accordance with God’s laws and not man’s can be challenging, but it’s a powerful testament to our Christian values and beliefs.

2. Show the people you work with that you care about them.

Even though Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers, his godly character was revealed in his conduct.  When Joseph was the governor of Egypt, his brothers stood before him desperately seeking grain in order to avoid starvation. At that moment, Joseph’s reaction revealed that he truly cared for them. The emotional scene in Genesis 45 shows Joseph choosing to allow God’s love in his heart to control his actions instead of his human desire for revenge.

Show Christ’s love in you by communicating to others that you care more about them as a person than what they can do for you.

Show Christ’s love in you by communicating to others that you care more about them as a person than what they can do for you.

3. Share your faith boldly as God places opportunities in your path.

When standing before Pharaoh to interpret his dreams, Joseph boldly proclaimed the source of his abilities. “‘I cannot do it,’ Joseph replied to Pharaoh, ‘but God will give Pharaoh the answer he desires’” (Genesis 41:16).  As he stood before the most powerful person in the land, Joseph chose to testify to God’s power in his life.

You are called to evangelism whether you work in a church or in an office building (Acts 4:29).  God will open doors for you to share your faith. Boldly step through them.

In Perry Noble’s book The Most Excellent Way To Lead, he captures the essence of Christ-like leadership in the following statement: “Leadership isn’t about the position you hold but rather the person you are.”

Let’s choose to have an uncompromising character, determined to show others that we care for them as a person, and resolute to share our faith as God provides opportunities to do so.  

Joseph was a slave, servant, prisoner then governor, yet chose not to let his circumstances dictate his ability to impact individuals and a nation for God. Our office is our place of ministry, so let’s make the choice to show Jesus in all that we do.

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