Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Executive Leadership

The adult Bible study class I lead is going through Joshua - we study a book of the Bible verse by verse and chapter by chapter. It's a lot of fun leading a very discussion oriented class. We just began Joshua.

In Joshua 2.1, "Then Joshua secretly sent out two spies from the Israelite camp..." Some points to consider:

  • He sent out two (2) spies - 40 years before, Moses sent out 12 spies and only two came back with a favorable report. The other 10 were so pessimistic that their majority report caused the nation of Israel to wander in the desert for 40 years until every person age 21 and over had died.
  • He sent them out - Joshua had probably selected these guys and trained them for a dozen years or maybe more. That reminds me of the quote of General of the Army, George C Marshall, Chief of Staff during World War II, "I want an officer for a secret and dangerous mission. I want a West Point football player." Joshua got exactly the person he wanted for this mission.
  • He sent them out secretly - Joshua did not ask for a vote of everyone; he didn't ask them to huddle for a church-wide prayer meeting; he just did it and knew that if things went wrong, he'd bear the blame. But he was willing to do that. He weighed the consequences of having everyone know what he was doing (and maybe word getting out to the wrong people) versus doing what he knew was right and getting the info he needed for his decision.
Leadership is tricky. In this case, Joshua decided executive leadership was necessary and that's what he did. In other circumstances, legislative authority (corporate buy-in) is necessary. Frankly, I feel that executive leadership is needed more often than it is used; executive leadership must always be tinged by the advice of clear-headed counselors. The decision can/must be explained to all later, but a leader must lead - that's why God made leadership and leaders.

Lead On!

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