Leadership Style of Moses
Leaders will face challenges of all kinds. Leaders will be introduced to various types of organizations and different types of personalities. The leadership style of Moses can teach strong lessons for any leader.
Moses was a skilled man who had to deal with a unique group of people. Through it all, he displayed the character of one wanting to be a strong influence while at the same time facing many challenges.
Moses Was a Patient Leader of Impatient People
So often, leaders will find that those they are leading can be extremely anxious. Moses found this to be the case with the children of Israel.
“In the desert the whole community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died by the Lord’s hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death.” “ (Exodus 16:2-3)
For a leader to stay healthy and productive he or she cannot allow the comments of those they lead to determine their attitude. Negativism is a very common behavior for many people. One or two people can be very discouraging. However, Moses had to deal with “the whole community.” (Exodus 16:2) An entire group of people wanting to die due to their condition would be overwhelming for any leader, but Moses was very patient.
Moses Endured Constant Grumbling
How often can a leader tolerate criticism before they become tired? Moses showed great signs of endurance when dealing with the children of Israel. The grumbling behavior of adults was a common practice for these people:
- The whole community grumbled Exodus 16:2
- Moses and Aaron heard their grumbling Exodus 16:9
- The Lord heard their grumbling Exodus 16: 11
How much grumbling can any leader endure?
C. S. Lewis had this to say about grumbling, “Hell begins with a grumbling mood, always complaining, always blaming others… but you are still distinct from it. You may even criticize it in yourself and wish you could stop it. But there may come a day when you can no longer. Then there will be no you left to criticize the mood or even to enjoy it, but just the grumble itself, going on forever like a machine. It is not a question of God “sending us” to hell. In each of us there is something growing, which will be Hell unless it is nipped in the bud. ”
Moses clearly understood that Grumbling can be a destructive behavior.
Moses Was Challenged as a Leader by Fatigue and Frustration
Moses was no different than any other leader. He was challenged to be a consistent leader. However, these challenges introduced feelings of exhaustion. Fatigue and frustration can cause any leader to become tired and weak.
There was one point in his ministry when Moses decided to disobey the instructions of God. This disobedience was brought on because those he led annoyed him.
”The Lord said to Moses, “Take the staff, and you and your brother Aaron gather the assembly together. Speak to that rock before their eyes and it will pour out its water. You will bring water out of the rock for the community so they and their livestock can drink.”
So Moses took the staff from the Lord’s presence, just as he commanded him. He and Aaron gathered the assembly together in front of the rock and Moses said to them, “Listen, you rebels, must we bring you water out of this rock?” Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock twice with his staff. Water gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank.
But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them.” (Numbers 20:7-12)
Look carefully at the leadership style of Moses and how he referred to the people he was leading. When he spoke to them he said, “Listen you rebels….” (Numbers 20:10b) This was not a term of endearment. It was a clear statement that showed that Moses had come to a point of exhaustion. He had had enough!
Every team leader is going to have to deal with “rebels” at some time or another. How we respond will decide our future. For Moses, his frustration led him to disobey God, which kept him from entering the Promise Land. (v.12)
Fatigue and frustration can destroy any leader.
How are you doing as a leader?
Are you having any problems with those you are leading?
Do you have any “rebels” that you are dealing with?
Are you dealing with a grumbling majority?
Are you allowing the challenges of leadership to point you in the direction of making a major mistake?
The leadership style of Moses can be a learning resource for any leader.