Facts of the Matter

A weekly letter of encouragement and challenge to business and professional men and women
Wednesday, May 22, 2002
Dear Colleagues,


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During Israels trek across the desert, Moses father-in-law, Jethro, paid him a visit, observed his style of operation, and offered some sage advice on management principles:


#1 Allow mentors into your life: We need people around us who respect us but are not overpowered or impressed by us; people who are not afraid to tell us what we need to hear, rather than what we want to hear.

When his father-in-law saw all that Moses was doing for the people, he said, What is this you are doing for the people?What you are doing is not goodListen now to me and I will give you some advice, and may God be with you (Exo. 18:14a,17b,19a) (See I King. 12:1-19; Pro. 11:14;15:22;24:6; 20:18 Isa. 19:11-14)

#2 Recognize your own limitations: Divest yourself of visions of grander, Lone Rangerism, the Napoleonic or Messianic complexes. President Eisenhower likened the indispensable man to a person who, after pulling his thumb out of a bucket of water left its impression.


Moses took his seat to serve as judge for the people, and they stood around him from morning till eveningHis father-in-law saw all that Moses was doing for the people, [and] said, What is this you are doing for the people? Why do you alone sit as judge, while all these people stand around you from morning till evening." (Exo. 18:13b,14b) (See 1Chron. 29:11-14; Pro. 16:18,19; 26:12; Jn. 3:27; 1 Cor. 4:7; Gal. 6:3)

#3 Model spiritual leadership:


You [Moses] must be the people’s representative before Godand show them the way to live (Exo. 18:19b, 20b) (See Jn. 13:15; 1 Cor. 4:15,16; 11:1; Phil. 3:17; 1 Thess. 1:6; 2 Thess. 2:14; 3:9)

#4 Define responsibilities and supply appropriate training for them to do their job:


Teach them the decrees and lawsand the duties they are to perform. (Exo. 18:20:a,c) (See Dt. 4:1;5:1)

#5 Select quality people for leadership positions. Jethro specified three characteristics:


Capable: (Literally, virtue, valor and strength) (Exo. 18:21a) (See Josh. 6:2; Jud. 6:12; 18:2 1)

Fear God (Literally, fear and revere God) (Exo. 18:21a) (See Gen 22:12; 42:18; Neh. 7:2; Ecc.12:13)

Trustworthy (Literally, hate bribes ) (Exo. 18:21a) (See Jer. 5:1; Ezek. 18:8; Zech. 7:9; 8:16)

#6 Delegate levels of responsibility:


Appoint [men] as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tensHave them serve as judges for the peoplebut 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. (Exo. 18:21,22a,c) (See Act. 6:1-6)

#7 Provide stability:

Have them serve as judges for the people at all times (Exo. 18:22a) (See Exo. 18:26; 1 Cor. 15:58)

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