Are you using your resources wisely?
B. Keith Chapman, President & CEO
We don’t often like to think about our limitations in life. In fact, many routinely press the boundaries of their individual abilities. While physical and mental capabilities differ between people, we will inevitably reach capacity and struggle to remain effective. This can be a very discouraging experience, especially when our performance falls below an expected level of success. You may find yourself working tirelessly but still not reaching an acceptable level of accomplishment. Improving your personal skill set by identifying your weaknesses and limits as an individual, team member, and leader is a good start. However, building a team of people around you will fill the weakness gaps, increase capacity and push pass the limitations of any one person.
Have you ever been motivated by looking at someone while saying to yourself, if he or she can do it, I certainly can? Likewise, have you ever taken comfort in the fact that others have experienced the same setbacks and challenges that you are going through? There is a lot to be learned from the leaders of the past. I have often thought about the challenges that Moses faced when leading the Israelites out of Egypt and into the wilderness. It is an incredible story that I would encourage you to read. Scholars have debated on how many people were actually lead out of Egypt under Moses’ leadership. Most believe it was at least 600,000, while others believe as many as 2.4 million. Can you image the challenges with logistics and communication alone? Throughout the Israelites time in the wilderness, Moses’ leadership was questioned by his people many times. In Exodus 17:4 you can read, “Then Moses cried out to the LORD, “What am I to do with these people? They are almost ready to stone me.” Moses had reached the limits of his capability to provide for the people and reached out to the resource of all resources for assistance. The Lord provided direction to Moses which ultimately provided a resolution for each crisis that they faced.
Later in Exodus, you can read about Moses receiving some wise counsel from his father-in-law, Jethro. Jethro recognized that Moses was exhausting himself by attempting to manage the business of the people alone. Jethro encouraged Moses to set up an organizational structure to support the overall health and wellness of the people. You can read in Exodus 18:25, “He (Moses) chose capable men from all Israel and made them leaders of the people, officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens.” By taking the advice of his father-in-law, Moses demonstrated several traits of a good leader. First, he listened to wise counsel. Feedback is sometimes hard to hear, but often provides an opportunity for improvement. Second, he swallowed his pride and came to terms with the fact he needed help. Moses was humble enough to understand that he had again reached his limit of effectiveness. Third, he put capable people in positions of leadership. Which as a team, made a much greater impact than he could ever do alone. These timeless leadership lessons, if applied regularly, can have a profound impact on our ability to lead and influence.
Challenge: Understand your limitations, listen to wise counsel, and use the resources available to you. Surround yourself with capable people that help you expand your effectiveness far past the limitations of any one person.
Published: December 1, 2019