Moses' father-in-law replied, "What you are doing is not good. You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone." (Ex 18:17-18)
There comes a time when every great leader may need to be confronted about a blind spot in their leadership style. Moses' father-in law, Jethro, came to visit him in the desert. He watched his son-in-law in action and noticed a major flaw in his management style. Moses was spending his time from morning until night judging disputes among the people. Jethro could see this was going to burn out Moses if he continued this.
"The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone. Listen now to me and I will give you some advice, and may God be with you. You must be the people's representative before God and bring their disputes to him. Teach them the decrees and laws, and show them the way to live and the duties they are to perform. But select capable men from all the people -- men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain -- and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. Have them serve as judges for the people at all times, but have them bring every difficult case to you; the simple cases they can decide themselves. That will make your load lighter, because they will share it with you. If you do this and God so commands, you will be able to stand the strain, and all these people will go home satisfied." (Ex 18:18-23)
This was wisdom from a wise sage. And because the advice came from someone older and someone Moses respected, he heeded the advice. This is a key principle when a leader needs to be confronted. The correction must come from someone in whom the leader respects and is willing to receive instruction from. The correction must also be done in a spirit that is designed to help the leader be better, rather than shaming the leader for poor performance.
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