What makes a mediocre leader great? What are the marks a great leader? As you can see, I probably have more questions than answers! Join me as we take a very brief look at the life of Moses; see if you can identify with what I have chosen as the top five defining qualities of a great leader.
Great Leaders Know Their Assignment!
Moses was well along in years, 80 in fact, when God gave him his assignment,
“So now, go, I am sending you
to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.”
That sounds clear enough! So why didn’t Moses resign after he made sure the people were on safe ground on the far side of the Red Sea. He had fulfilled the mandate, right? Check! He went to Pharaoh, and he got the people out. Check!
Great leaders don’t quit! They keep going above and beyond the letter of requirements!
It would take 40 more years to get Egypt out of the hearts and minds of the people. These were excruciating painful years for Moses as a leader as his
authority and character were challenged
those closest betrayed him
the masses grumbled incessantly
other leadership challenged his adequacy to lead.
Still, he persevered!
Great Leaders are Humble!
“Now Moses was a very humble man,
more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth.”
Numbers 12: 3
I can’t help but smile when I read this little line. Why? Because Moses wrote it! You would think that bragging about your humility would disqualify you from wearing the ‘humble’ badge. However, God would not allow this line to maintain its position in the Holy Scriptures if it was not completely true.
Great leaders know who they are, to Whom they belong, where they are going and Who is getting them there! They know that in and of themselves they can do nothing! Moses didn’t have John 15:5 to remind him; he lived every day in the strength of God knowing that “without me you can do nothing.”
Great leaders don’t need to prove themselves, even when others rise up and say, “Who do you think you are?”
There is a quiet confidence that truly great leaders display. A confidence cloaked firmly in humility.
Great Leaders Show Grace!
More than once, God was so fed up with the rebellion and sinfulness of his chosen people. He made it clear that He was fully prepared to make Moses
“…into a nation, stronger and more numerous than they.”
Few leaders would resist that kind of temptation to greatness, especially when the One making the promise is perfectly capable of fulfilling it.
However, Moses falls on his face continually interceding for the people, reminding God of His promises. These was not a twinkle in insincerity within him. He loved and cared deeply for these stubborn sheep he was assigned to shepherd. A true shepherd he was proving himself to be!
Great Leaders Never Compromise!
Multiple times Moses was given compromising offers…
sacrifice to God here in the land
have only the men go
your women and children may go, only leave your flocks…
Great leaders know there can never be compromise! The mandate was to worship God with
“our young and our old, our sons and daughters, with flocks and herds…”
The call to worship God is still the same…
for young and the aged
male and female
rich and poor
a worship for everyone
to only One worthy!
Though there may be temptations to do things halfway, great leaders never settle!
Great Leaders Have Great Faith!
Hebrews speaks of faith five times in connection to Moses. He resisted the easy road of self reliance because he was “looking ahead to his reward”. Moses persevered because “he saw Him who is invisible.”
I cannot fathom the dimension of faith it took on the part of Moses to follow the word of the LORD and then lead an entire nation so faithfully. A man “mighty in word and deed” who “received living words and passed them on.”
Certainly, this faith was entwined with a deep fear of the LORD. We don’t talk much about fear today, but there is such a thing as a healthy dose of godly fear; and Moses had it.
“I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.’
Moses trembled with fear and did not dare to look.”
Great leaders know how to draw on strength and wisdom beyond themselves – trusting in Him who is faithful.
Consider the quote that sparked this whole thought process,
“I would rather die in the desert with the people,
than get to the ‘promise’ alone.”
Andy Mason is a relatively unknown leader who inspires others to apply biblical principles to everyday business – to the places we live and work.
Independence is deep-rooted in each of us, especially me! What goals are in our futures that we still hope to reach? What promise of God is waiting to see fulfilled? Everyone of us lives with unfulfilled destiny and calling — things we want to be reality in our lives but are yet out of reach! Some may have to do with family, career, finances or levels of ministry.
I’m taking this challenge personally as I aim toward my goals reaching in the direction of my calling.
How sad it would be to reach my ‘promise’ alone, unable to share the journey or the destination!
Moses never entered the promise because of his own insubordination. However, he was faithful to raise up a successor to effectively carry it out. This young leader would have the privilege of entering the promise and fully seeing the fruit of all Moses worked for and longed to see. Joshua would be the one to lead the next generation into the full promise.
Want more to read on walking in faith? Try these!