In my Bible reading this morning, I was reminded that leaders must delegate. They must share the load of leadership.
Many leaders don’t delegate because they are too proud and think that they are the only ones…capable enough to do the task. Some don’t delegate because they never bothered to train replacements. Some don’t delegate because they need the ego boost from feeling important and needed.
Yet, when a leader doesn’t delegate, he/she creates all sorts of unhealthy problems within their organization:
1). The leader gets worn out and leads while exhausted.
2). The organization is not free to grow as it ordinarily would have since everything has to come across the leader’s desk. If the folks in the organization aren’t patient (few of us are), resentment may grow.
3). The folks who are led may come to resent not feeling valued or trusted by the leader.
4). The organization becomes dependent upon the leader. What happens when he/she gets sick, goes on vacation, quits, dies?
On and on we could go. A very clear and important leadership principle is delegation. Trust people enough and train them so that you can share the load (and joys) of leadership.
Exodus 18:13-23 (New Living Translation)
“The next day, Moses took his seat to hear the people’s disputes against each other. They waited before him from morning till evening.”
“When Moses’ father-in-law saw all that Moses was doing for the people, he asked, ‘What are you really accomplishing here? Why are you trying to do all this alone while everyone stands around you from morning till evening?'”
“Moses replied, ‘Because the people come to me to get a ruling from God. When a dispute arises, they come to me, and I am the one who settles the case between the quarreling parties. I inform the people of God’s decrees and give them his instructions.'”
“‘This is not good!’ Moses’ father-in-law exclaimed. ‘You’re going to wear yourself out – and the people, too. This job is too heavy a burden for you to handle all by yourself. Now listen to me, and let me give you a word of advice, and may God be with you. You should continue to be the people’s representative before God, bringing their disputes to him. Teach them God’s decrees, and give them his instructions. Show them how to conduct their lives. But select from all the people some capable, honest men who fear God and hate bribes. Appoint them as leaders over groups of one thousand, one hundred, fifty, and ten. They should always be available to solve the people’s common disputes, but have them bring the major cases to you. Let the leaders decide the smaller matters themselves. They will help you carry the load, making the task easier for you. If you follow this advice, and if God commands you to do so, then you will be able to endure the pressures, and all these people will go home in peace.'”