If you are in a position of leadership, you have something to bring to every situation that others often can't.

If you are in a position of leadership, you have something to bring to every situation that others often can’t.

Embarrassing

I am color blind. It is an embarrassing condition at times. Particularly with my kids, when I put something on that doesn’t match. For example, I had two pairs of the same style shoe in different colors. It wasn’t until I was work that I saw them in the right light and realized I had mismatched them.

Not aware

My kids question what colors look like to me. I remember one of them asking if everything was in black and white, like an old TV show. It’s impossible to describe something that I am not aware of missing.

Others can’t

Some people are leadership blind. If you have leadership ability it is important to remember that some people do not see things the same way. It is hard to imagine everyone doesn’t see what you see. Leaders see what others simply can’t.

What a leader can bring

In Exodus 18 we are given 3 examples of what a leader can bring, because leaders simply see what others can’t. Moses’ father-in-law, Jethro, sent word that he was going to visit. It sounds like there was some family tension. We had not heard anything about Moses’ wife since Exodus 4.

Good news

Moses was ready to receive his father-in-law, wife, and kids. A lot of good things had happened since Exodus 4, such as the plagues against Egypt, parting of the Red Sea, and they had just conquered the Amalekites. Moses had a lot of good to news to share.

Bad news

Verse 9-12 Moses relates all that had happened and Jethro was delighted. We’re talking major in-law points. But the next day (v13) Jethro actually saw Moses on the job. Morning til night, Moses is engaged in arbitration, dealing with the people’s problems. Jethro asked Moses, “What in the world? This is crazy!” Jethro offered his son-in-law some insight as a leader.

Leaders see solutions

Here’s the first leadership insight Jethro had: he had the ability to see solutions. Moses was only addressing the problems. A lot of people can see a problem, but it takes a leader to bring a solution. Moses said, “When they have problems, they come to me.” (v16) Jethro saw a solution. Jethro said, “Select capable men…and appoint them as officials.” (v21) Leaders bring solutions. Jethro’s solution was delegation.

Leaders see the big picture

The second leadership insight Jethro had was the ability to see the big picture. Moses was up to his eye balls with the people’s problems as they “stood around him from morning till evening.” (v13) It’s hard to see very far when you have problems all around you. Jethro saw the big picture for Moses “to stand the strain and all these people to go home satisfied.” (v23) Call it vision, the preferred future, or the ideal destination – whatever you call it, Jethro could see the desired result. Leaders bring vision. Jethro was able to provide a leader’s perspective and imagine the end goal for what Moses was trying to accomplish.

Leaders see order

The third leadership insight of Jethro was to see order. If delegation is the what and vision the why, how to organize people for the what and the why is necessary. Jethro suggested a system of “officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties, and tens.” (v21) Leaders bring structure. Jethro was able to see order out of chaos.

Bring your perspective

Jethro’s perspective made an immediate and immense impact. He was able to bring solutions, vision, and order to a situation where others could only see problems, the short-term, and chaos. If you are a leader, don’t take for granted that you see things differently, farther down the road, and more clearly. You bring a perspective that others simply don’t have the ability to see.

Question

What do you as a leader need to bring to a situation that others can’t provide themselves?

Title Signature Screenshot Cartoon 2015

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