15 Oct THE DESERT EXPERIENCE
In church on Sunday, our Pastor was sharing some information about the life of Moses – examples of leadership abound in the book of Exodus. It took Moses over 80 years to prepare and develop himself as a leader, ultimately becoming the first political leader of a powerful nation. It wasn’t easy and it didn’t happen overnight.
In the beginning national success looked assured. The Hebrews had an educated leader, they had a plan, they enjoyed great organization, they received a clear vision and they had agreed to a sharply defined goal. One would think that nothing could interfere. Yet, the people failed to communicate, they doubted the vision, disobeyed the rules, forgot their goals and were disappointed in their leadership. There is much to be learned.
· Leaders need time (sometimes in your own personal desert) and experience to grow and prepare for leadership
· Leading means planning – plan your work and work your plan
· Leaders should never try to do everything all alone
· Leaders must be prepared for things to go wrong
· Leaders must continually remind themselves and others of past successes
· Leaders must repeatedly share the vision
In the case of Moses, he had to “give up to go up”. He learned that leadership requires sacrifice. The higher a leader climbs the greater the sacrifices he has usually made. Effective leaders sacrifice much that is good in order to dedicate themselves to that which is best.
John Maxwell sums it up beautifully; leaders can often learn from each other, but when it comes to truly fulfilling a vision it becomes very personal – a personal vision that matches who you are.
· Personal to who you are (you have to own it)
· Practical for the life and times (meeting a relevant need)
· Possible for what you have (a match for your skills, experience, gifts and talents)
· Parallel to who you are (complimenting your passion and personality)
· Portable for where you go (you can take it with you)
· Powerful for how you live (stretching you to do more than you could on your own)
· Profitable for what you do (it gets results)
· Pleasurable for who you are (it brings fulfillment and satisfaction)
· Purposeful for why you live (it fulfills your personal mission)
Moses was humble and certainly not a natural leader – in fact, there are no records of significant accomplishment in his first 40 years. He didn’t lead or attract anyone in the following 40 years. You don’t have to be a “natural” to become a great leader – you just need the heart and a willingness to learn.