Acts 27:35-36 “And when he had thus spoken, he took bread, and gave thanks to God in presence of them all: and when he had broken it, he began to eat. Then were they all of good cheer, and they also took some meat.”
Anybody can assume the role of leadership, but not every leader will be an effective leader of change for the good. It takes a special type of leader who is selfless and leads by action that causes others to follow and change their actions. People don't follow someone willingly just because they assume a position, but they follow someone because that person who leads has something that can help the follower to get beyond where they are in life; this is what you call effective leadership.
Paul was an effective leader. In the verses above, Paul was just one of the prisoners, and he was not in charge, yet he still was an effective leader. Effective leadership that causes positive change is not appointed but discovered. Paul was in the middle of the storm, and the leaders on the ship were causing fear and hopelessness because of their lack of leadership. However, Paul’s effective leadership brought cheer to people and gave them hope that they would make it through this great storm. There are three characteristics that you must exhibit in your life, even if you are not a leader, if you are going to be an effective leader. Let me share these characteristics with you.
First, effective leadership exhibits calm in chaos. While the mariners on this ship exhibited anxiety and fear, Paul exhibited calm throughout the storm. Effective leadership must always be calm even when they are filled with anxiety on the inside. People don't want to follow someone who is as scared as they are about the future, but they want someone who is calm and confident that everything will turn out for the good. You cannot exhibit calm in chaos if you are not walking with God. Paul walked with God, and it was God who gave him the peace that he would make it through this storm. You will never be an effective leader until you learn to walk with God who can calm your heart in the chaos that life’s storms bring your way.
Second, effective leadership exhibits faith in times of fear. A fear-driven leadership will always retreat when a faith-driven leadership marches forward despite the messages of fear being trumpeted. These people in the ship were willing to follow Paul because his faith that God would deliver them gave them hope that they would not die. People want to have hope that they will make it, but it takes an effective leader to lead by faith to give them that hope. If you cower every time something MIGHT happen, you will always have a reason to retreat. You will never be an effective leader for God until faith becomes your focus to drive you forward through the times of fear.
Third, effective leadership exhibits initiative by example. Paul told these people to take bread and eat, and he was the first one to show these people that it was okay to do so. You can tell people all day long to do things, but effective leadership won't wait for the people to do what needs to be done, but it takes the initiative to be the one who leads from the front. Effective leadership never leads from the back or from a seat, but it leads from the front by an example of action. If you want to be an effective leader, you will have to lead by example before others will follow you. People will follow you if you are doing what you are asking them to do.