April 4

Written by Bill Grandi on April 4th, 2024

One of the characteristics of a good leader is to see a need and act. That act may be one of delegation. See the need and find someone or assign someone the task of fulfilling it. One of the ways of filling a need is a way many leaders won’t even think of doing-“lowering” themselves to do what needs to be done right then and there. Take, for example, a toilet that has overflowed.  The leader may experience it or see it. Instant decision: take care of it, assign it, or pretend it didn’t happen and you never saw it. The good leader will do what? Take immediate action. If that means to stem the tide of the mess until maybe someone else can volunteer or step in to do the job, then so be it.

I witnessed this the other day. Grand Opening. Ribbon cutting. Grills aren’t working correctly (new one ordered). Breakers keep blowing. Men’s toilet overflows. One of the owners grabbed a mop during a lull (they had put an “Out of Order” sign on the door temporarily) and began mopping the bathroom floor. Leadership seen as servanthood. Eventually, someone else came and helped.

Ezra the priest goes to Jerusalem to lead them in a return to God following the exile. But 70 years later word gets to Nehemiah that Jerusalem is still in sad shape. A ruined city with broken down walls.  Enemies having a field day. Enter Nehemiah…miles removed from the situation. He prays first for wisdom.  Then petitions his boss (he was cupbearer to the king) for time off. With the king’s blessing he makes his way to Jerusalem where he proceeds to assess the situation, then rebuild the walls with help. He didn’t just order them done, but got his hands dirty as well.

In my book, true leadership does not sit in an ivory tower making rules, living like a king while doling out money or orders. No. True leadership gets dirty hands, often leading the way by doing.

Now…where is that towel and basin?


8 Comments so far ↓

  1. Servant leadership is not reluctant to get their own hands dirty when something needs to be done. They are fully invested in the well-being of others, and will go the distance to help.
    Blessings, Bill!

  2. Ryan S. says:

    I have always admired leaders who choose to serve. Those who are willing to do what they are asking those that follow them do and I love Nehemiah…

    Nehemiah 4:14 is one I have memorized.
    “After I looked things over, I stood up and said to the nobles, the officials, and the rest of the people. Don’t be afraid of them, remember the Lord who is great and awesome and Fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives, and your homes.”

    Not only does a great leader lead through serving, but they build enthusiasm, they build excitement, they draw people in so they can be lead and when they see a leader doing the hard and less desirable work, it causes those who follow to want to do the same.

  3. gail says:

    Great point Bill. All the greatest leaders in the Bible, also were servers. Jesus being the ultimate leader and server. Nehemiah also teaches us that, even when you are not in the middle of the need, when you hear about it, you can go to the need. It would have been easy for Nehemiah to say I cannot help I’m to far away, that’s not my problem to deal with. Nehemiah’s response was first to pray and ask God, what do you want me to do. He teaches us the most important lesson to do in all situations, pray earnestly, meditate on God’s word, cry out to God for help. Then he teaches us, follow what God tells you to do. Going into the King and asking for time off, would not be an easy task, but Nehemiah trusted God, and knew God was with him. The lessons learned in Nehemiah’s story need to be engraved in our hearts.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      You are right Gail. It would have been so easy for Nehemiah to make excuses that sound plausible but are really empty in the long run. You raise some interesting points.

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