The Steps To Becoming A Great Leader
By Rev. Dr. Judith L. Baumgartner
Joshua 1:1 – 9
After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide: “Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites. I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Mediterranean Sea in the west. No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.
“Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Leadership is difficult. Though replete with benefits, it is also comprised of pitfalls. Today, more than ever, our leaders are bombarded to compromise their positions and themselves.
With all the scandals involving top leaders of private and public enterprise, it is apparent that some in current leadership positions are falling prey to impropriety. They are not upholding the moral standards or fulfilling the job requirements that befit the traits expected of a leader. The power wielded, the prospects of financial gain, and the lucrative side benefits are too tempting for most to encounter unscathed. Companies and government agencies are scrambling to stop the downward spiral of effects due to unethical and ineffective behavior and practices.
Perhaps that is why the market is flooded with books, manuals, and training on how to be a successful, ethical leader. Moreover, to meet the increasing requirements for further training, multitudes of colleges and universities now offer graduate degrees in ethics and effective leadership, while businesses and government spend thousands – if not millions – of dollars designing and implementing new programs to meet demands of developing leaders and increasing productiveness.
One would expect that with so much emphasis on and opportunities for increasing ethical and effective leadership that summative results would be positive. Sadly, that is not the case. Daily reports of corruption at high levels in all specters of public and private enterprise are broadcast across the U. S. and abroad.
Conceivably this “epidemic” is on the rise because society – as a whole – is looking in the wrong place for the answers to the leadership problems. They look to secular solutions such as more training, education, or stringent procedures to stop the onslaught of mismanagement in the ranks. However, as they have seen from their own media headlines, this has been futile. They should, instead look to God and His Word.
The Bible is the best, most complete manual not only for healthy, happy living, but also for the steps that should be taken to be an effective, righteous leader. It provides a step-by-step outline for ethical and effective leadership. Furthermore, God Himself demonstrated how to lead. The Biblical writers provided us with a written description of His teachings. A summarized version is provided below as a quick reference list.
Steps to be followed for an effective leader (God’s Way):
- Commit yourself totally to the Lord – get right with God
- Pray for His guidance – actively seek Him and listen
- Trust Him – He keeps His promises
- Follow His plan – do what He says
- Be a servant to your subordinates – even Jesus, Creator of all, was a servant to His creation
- Stay focused on the Lord and His word to persevere and be above reproach – do not be afraid to lead in righteousness and do not be tempted by Satan
More detailed descriptions are available in the Scriptures. Read them. Better yet, read the whole book. The Bible contains the best action stories and is the ultimate instruction manual. The information it contains is priceless!
Father, thank You for Your Word – The Bible. May we read it cover to cover and refer to it daily as the supreme guide for loving and living. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen!