Spiritual leadership is the leadership of the Good Shepherd. As Jesus says, good shepherds know their sheep, and their sheep know them (see John 10:14). There must be a true mutuality between shepherds and their sheep. Good leaders know their own, and their own know them. Between them is mutual trust, mutual openness, mutual care, and mutual love. To follow our leaders we cannot be afraid of them, and to lead our followers we need their encouragement and support.
Jesus calls himself the Good Shepherd to show the great intimacy that must exist between leaders and those entrusted to them. Without such intimacy, leadership easily becomes oppressive.