Leadership. It’s a word you will constantly hear throughout your time in the corporate world. Oftentimes, companies say that they want to hire people who have leadership skills, but their actions prove otherwise.
A real leader is someone who uses empathy and wisdom to help others discover or perfect their talents, so they can achieve success. Whether or not you are able to benefit from their success doesn’t play a role in your willingness to help someone.
Real leaders know their worth. They aren’t going to allow you to exploit their knowledge, time, and effort without being properly compensated or if they feel their efforts to advance within a company will be in vain. No one wants to keep patching up holes in a ship that’s clearly going to sink. That’s a colossal waste of time. I hate to say it, but that’s exactly what you’re doing if your idea of leadership is aligned with the corporate world.vc
A prime example of a real leader in the Bible was Deborah. Deborah was a phenomenal woman. She was a prophet, wife, and a judge. (Judges 4) The Israelites went to her to settle their disputes.
CliffsNotes version of her story is that the Israelites had gotten into trouble once again. The Lord had mercy on them and heard their cries. So the Lord told Deborah to tell Barak to take 10K men from Naphtali and Zebulun and lead them to Mount Tabor. The Lord was going to deliver them from the hands of King Jabin.
Barak was afraid and said, “I’ll go if you go with me, but if you don’t go with me, I’m not going to go.” Deborah says she’ll go but warns Barak that he cannot take credit for the battle. They get to Mount Tabor, and Deborah shouts at Barak,” Go! This is the day the Lord has given Sisera into your hands. Has not the Lord gone ahead of you?” Barak destroyed King Jabin’s army. They praised God by singing what is referred to as the song of Deborah, and they were able to live in peace for 40 years.
I always wondered, “What made Barak change his mind?” Barak was obviously scared. He could have easily allowed his fears to persuade him to disobey God. Yet, he felt compelled to follow God’s orders when Deborah agreed to go with him. Deborah possessed a variety of characteristics that we must gain to help motivate others to be leaders.
Deborah always put God first, so she had an aura of confidence. Due to her strong faith, she already knew that Barak was fighting from a position of victory. She was a wise woman so she knew how to read a room. Deborah did not want Barak’s fear to cause him to miss out on the opportunity to step out in faith so he could see God’s deliverance manifest in his life. Deborah wanted to instill confidence in Barak. She knew Barak needed someone to lean on and provide him the assurance he needed until he realized he had the skills to be a leader.
Deborah was not the type to lead from behind. She led by example, so she joined Barak on his journey to Mount Tabor. Deborah’s willingness to join him on this journey served as a physical reminder to Barak that God was with him. I’m sure throughout the journey, Deborah was probably sharing stories and speaking words of encouragement to increase his confidence.
When they finally reach Mount Tabor, Deborah basically said, “We’re here. What are you waiting on? Go get your victory.” As a leader, she knew when it was time to let go, by giving Barak that extra push. At some point in time, we have to implement the knowledge that we learn. This was Barak’s chance to test his faith and execute what he learned throughout his journey with Deborah. Barak won the battle just like God told him he would.
Barak’s victory placed him in a situation to pay it forward. His memory of this victory would forever be his reminder that God was there for him. Barak could now be the source of strength and inspiration for someone else.
Deborah’s actions demonstrate how much of an impact one person can have on your life. If a company wants to motivate people to be leaders then you can’t sit on the sidelines. You have to be willing to teach them the rules so they can feel comfortable enough to play, so they can win.
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