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Sept. 2010 - Moses: The Great Leadership Challenge

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Dr. John KlineSeptember 2010

Moses: The Great Leadership Challenge

Moses faced one of the greatest leadership challenges of all time. He took an undisciplined collection of slaves and faced the task of making them into a great nation. This column discusses the leadership challenge; the next tells the result. Then the following three columns will each tell a characteristic of Moses that allowed him to succeed; he was (1) a prototype of visionary leadership, (2) a personification of exemplary character and (3) a proficient master at implementing change.

Hundreds of years before the birth of Moses, Jacob and his Hebrew family escaped famine in their homeland and settled in Egypt where Jacob’s long lost son, Joseph, was Prime Minister. Initial relations with the Egyptians were harmonious, but eventually Jacob’s descendents became slaves to the Egyptians. By the time Moses was born, things were so bad that Pharaoh ordered all newborn male Hebrew children to be killed; for Pharaoh feared at some point the Hebrew men might align themselves with the enemies of the Egyptians. The baby, Moses, escaped when his mother hid him along the Nile where he was discovered by Pharaoh’s daughter who adopted him and raised him with the splendor and privilege of a prince.

At forty years of age, and aware of his Hebraic origin, Moses impulsively killed an Egyptian taskmaster who was brutally beating a Hebrew slave; then to escape punishment, Moses fled to the desert and become a shepherd. Forty years later, while tending flocks in the wilderness of Sinai, Moses received the “burning bush” revelation that God had chosen him to liberate his people. Moses and his brother, Aaron, returned to Egypt where they persuaded the Hebrews to leave the land of bondage and informed Pharaoh that God demanded freedom for His people. Pharaoh’s refusal was met with a series of ten plagues after which he allowed the people to leave.

Next month we will consider Moses: The Great Nation Builder.

John Kline
Montgomery, Alabama
jkline@klinespeak.com

Sept. 2010 - Moses: The Great Leadership Challenge
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