A Periodic Leadership Lesson from the Bible

A periodic devotional reflection on leadership from Scripture…

What is a key responsibility of a middle-management leader? How about the responsibility of a successor to a “founder” type leader?

I’d like to suggest one key responsibility is defending and sustaining the core values of the organization. In my Bible reading this morning I read the story of how Aaron, Moses brother, left in charge of the Israelite congregation, sabotaged the core values that had recently been introduced by Moses and embraced by the entire Israelite congregation. (Exodus 32). What a failure in leadership! What a lack of integrity! What a spiritual wimp! What a critical leader lesson for those who aspire to be effective middle-management leaders or successors to “founder-leaders”!

Here are a few observations from the story that came to mind… (You may think of others…)

1) Left in charge, Aaron apparently, in his desire for acceptance (or his fear of rebellion among the rank-and-file”), compromised the core values of the organization.

2) It appears that the compromising strategy might have been an idea Aaron might have entertained earlier (given the speed with which it appears he suggested it).

3) What Aaron saw as simply a compromise, in order to deal with an emerging crisis or rebellion, actually led to a loss of control and the forfeiture of his ability to effectively lead the group.

4) Although Aaron apparently didn’t grasp it at the time, his lack of leadership – his failure to defend the core values that the Israelites had just embraced – actually undermined their unique identity as God’s chosen people – exclusively followers of Jehovah.

5) Aaron’s lack of integrity and failure as a leader, when brought under scrutiny, revealed itself in mere self-preservation and lies, thus disqualifying himself as an authentic, gifted leader who exhibited integrity.

All of this leads to two additional warnings to those of us who lead…

  1. If you are a middle-management leader or the “successor” to a gifted or founding leader, you have an ethical responsibility to defend and protect from sabotage the core values of the organization!
  2. If you are a key leader, be very careful about who you select as middle-management leaders and successors… do your best to assure yourself that they wholeheartedly embrace the core values of your organization.

Just an important “leadership lesson” that impressed itself on me today during “coffee with the Lord” … hope it helps somebody with leadership responsibility today. 🙂

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