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April 4

Thursday, 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?