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Not all leaders are created equal

This is not talking about character or commitment but more calling, position and possibly timing.

In Exodus 18 when Jethro came to visit Moses, he observed Moses leading the Israelites and gave him some wise advice on how to deal with the pressures of leading.

Table of Contents:

  • Two Very Good Questions

  • Jethro’s Advice

  • Teach Advice

  • Get Your Team Onboard

Two Very Good Questions

Verse 14 in the NLT reads:

When Moses’ father-in-law saw all that Moses was doing for the people, he asked, “What are you really accomplishing here? Why are you trying to do all this alone while everyone stands around you from morning till evening?”

He asked two very good questions. The second one I think can have a twofold meaning. It wasn’t just those that needed help that were standing around all day, but also those that could help. We don’t want either do we?

Jethro's Advice

Jethro’s advice was to find men that were capable, who had certain character qualifications and have them lead groups of 1000s, 100s, 50s and 10s.

It takes different kinds of leaders for each of these groups.

10s - Lead by Example (To model): Might have to jump in and get your hands dirty. We certainly see this with startups where the leader models the hard work, commitment and dedication it takes to bring things to success.

50s - Leading Other People: In the process there is coaching, teaching, training and mentoring going on. People are testing in real time all they have learned spiritually and practically. The process of Delegation is happening to the point of Empowering and Entrusting others.

100s - Leading Other Leaders: A person has enough experience spiritually and naturally to lead other leaders. They have proven themselves as leaders and others have willingly followed. They attract other leaders.

1000s - This level of leader retains all the qualities of the 10, 50 and 100 leaders but is mainly leading through Vision.

Teach God's Word

Jethro told Moses to teach people God’s Word and go to God for the people. Only the hard cases would be passed up to him. The rest could be handled by others.

It’s good to assess ourselves and as leaders we must assess those that work with us. If we are a 10 today, then GREAT! Faithfulness always brings promotion. Some may never lead 1000s, but we need way more people leading groups of 10s, 50s and 100s than we do 1000s. That is just simple math.

Where do you fit right now? We need you giving your supply to the Body of Christ. Each one doing their part makes the body stronger and makes it grow.

Get Your Team Onboard

You are a leader with an idea. You know for this idea to become successful it will require many more people than just yourself. How do you get buy-in from others so they become as passionate about the idea as you are?

First, focus on your next level of leaders, your influencers. If they don’t buy in, you can just forget the rest; you’ll have a long uphill climb ahead of you. Build a track record of including others, getting their input, and using it - then each idea you bring to the team becomes easier for them to engage in.

Having an idea or some direction is one thing, getting the strategy or plans to carry it out are another. Ask your Team for input. How would they approach this? What will work and what won’t? The same Holy Spirit that lives in you, lives in them - so let them be led, instructed and encouraged to voice what they have. The leader makes a final decision, but to ignore the wisdom around us is…well…not too smart. The value in a team isn’t just having more hands, but also more hearts and heads. It is the job of leaders to mine the wisdom of those entrusted to us.

A wise person told me years ago, “John, quit doing all the thinking.” I never did ALL the thinking, but did try to do way too much of it. I thought my job was to problem-solve almost everything. When I started giving direction to the teams and let them bring back Plans, Ideas and Recommendations on how to fulfill the direction, I was amazed what great P, I and R’s they brought me. I shouldn’t have been amazed, but I was. Today, this is the way we function.

No matter how long we have been a leader, our perspective is still limited. Maybe we have been leading so long that we don’t even know what goes on in some areas of the organization any longer. People that work with us do, so let them give input to help you as leaders make the best decisions with the best ideas.

So, take the beginning of an idea to the teams and let that idea grow and become a team idea. Then everyone is involved.


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Not all leader re created equal
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