“And so Pilate, willing to content the people, released Barabbas unto them, and delivered Jesus, when he had scourged him, to be crucified.”
Just because a person holds a position of leadership doesn’t mean that they are a good leader. There are many people who have held leadership positions who exhibited poor leadership qualities. However, just because someone may exhibit some bad qualities as a leader doesn’t mean they can’t learn from their mistakes and become a better leader. Whether or not you like it, everyone is a leader, and everyone exhibits poor leadership qualities at times.
One of the poorest leaders in the Scriptures was Pilate. His ability to deal with the complex situation of Jesus revealed his inability to leader properly. Great leaders are not trained, but they are discovered in pressured times when others around them crumble. Pilate crumbled under the pressure of the mob who wanted to kill Jesus, and his inability to lead in the difficult situation will always be a part of his story. When you study Pilate’s life, you can learn several poor leadership qualities that every leader should be careful to avoid. Let me point out these qualities to you.
First, Pilate didn’t squelch wrong immediately. When Pilate was presented with Jesus, he knew immediately why Jesus was delivered to him and he should have promptly stopped it, but he didn’t. Weak leaders put off the difficult for later hoping that it will resolve itself, but it never does. As a leader, you cannot allow wrong to start. The best time to stop wrong from happening is in the infancy of the wrong. It’s much easier to stop wrong in its infancy than it is when it has become a full-blown problem. Dealing with problems in their infancy prevents them from getting out of control.
Second, Pilate avoided difficult decisions. Instead of telling the mob that he was going to release Jesus, he tried to bargain with them so that he could avoid making the difficult and unpopular decision. Nobody ever said that being a leader was going to be easy. Leaders have to make difficult decisions; that is why they were chosen to lead. Avoiding difficult decisions only makes the decision more difficult and complex later on. Dealing with difficult decisions immediately keeps them from compounding.
Third, Pilate wanted to please the mob. One of Pilate’s greatest weaknesses was that he wanted everyone to like him. You must understand that when you are a leader, everyone will not like you. If you need people to like you to lead, you better step down from your leadership role. You are going to have to make unpopular decisions as a leader, and you can’t expect everyone to like your decisions. Leaders, at times, must make decisions that most people don’t think is the right thing to do, and you will make the wrong decisions if you are dependent on pleasing the people in those times.
Fourth, Pilate was more interested in power and position than he was in doing right. Pilate enjoyed his power and position, which was not wrong to enjoy, but what was wrong was that he led in such a manner that it would not jeopardize his power and position. Leaders must never fall in love with power and position, but they must fall in love with truth and make decisions based on truth and not expediency. My friend, truth must be the leading factor in all your decisions. You may lose everything when you follow truth, but at least you didn’t lose your character.