If you want an example of what poor leadership looks like, then read 1 & 2 Kings and 1 & 2 Chronicles in the Old Testament of the Bible. There were many who "did what was right in the sight of the Lord" like David, Solomon, Asa, Uzziah, but there are many more who chose to do "what was evil in the Lord's sight." This is important because God laid it out to His people in the very beginning: If they would be faithful to Him and serve Him alone, they would be blessed and fruitful under the watchful hand of God all their days (read Exodus, Deuteronomy, Joshua, and Judges to get the bigger picture).
Unfortunately, from almost the outset Israel rebelled against God and headed down the path to destruction. King after king of Israel and Judah are described as following in the wicked ways of their predecessors and leading the people astray. Finally Israel was sacked by Assyria in 722 B.C. and here is the reasoning given for their demise:
This disaster happened because the people of Israel had sinned against the Lord their God who had brought them out of the land of Egypt from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt and because they had worshiped other God. (2 Kings 17:7)And how did Israel get in such bad shape? Bad leaders. It all begins with Jeroboam, the first King of divided Israel who took the throne after Solomon's death (Solomon's son became king in Judah). These poor leaders chose to follow in the misaligned ways of those who led before them instead of blazing a new trail of righteous leadership when it was their turn on the throne. A good leader will always choose to lead before he chooses to follow. Read these words of Jeroboam's legacy of leadership from 2 Kings 17:21-22:
Then Jeroboam led Israel away from following the Lord and caused them to commit great sin. The Israelites persisted in all the sins that Jeroboam committed and did not turn away from them.Bad leaders breed wicked followers. It's not that the people weren't accountable for their decisions, but the emphasis is on the responsibility of the leader. When he leads, the people will follow. And unfortunately for them, the kings of Israel and Judah chose to lead the people down paths that led away from God to certain destruction.
Then there's Jesus. Jesus wasn't a good leader. He was a great leader. When we study His life and teachings, it's easy for us to initially focus on His servant leadership and the selfless example He set for us. But there are others ways that Jesus shined as a leader. Consider how Jesus led in Luke 6:12-13:
During those days He went out to the mountain to pray and spent all night in prayer to God. When daylight came, He summoned His disciples, and He chose 12 of them--He also named them apostles.Jesus sought God's will and wisdom and direction before He made any big decision. He led on His knees. Godly leadership is that which recognizes that as a leader your are to be a good manager of what God has entrusted you with, not a dictator who makes his own rules. When you lead, people will follow. If you live your life for the glory of God and the gospel of Jesus Christ, you will breed followers who do the same.