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Nov. 2010 - Moses: The Prototypical Visionary Leader

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November 2010

Moses: The Prototypical Visionary Leader

Dr. John KlineSomeone joked that Moses was a great visionary—one who used tablets long before Apple thought of it and a man whose top-ten list preceded Letterman by thousands of years. All joking aside, Moses was the prototypical visionary leader. He had a vision (vivid mental image), he knew how to get there and then he was able to articulate it with words and actions—the three things every leader needs. See: http://troy.troy.edu/leadership Moses demonstrated five traits of visionary leadership.

1. Articulate clear goals and not give up till they are accomplished. Moses’ first goal, to convince Pharaoh to let the people go, was difficult to achieve; but ten plagues later, Moses led the people across the Red Sea to the Sinai Desert. Forty years later, long after most leaders would have given up, Moses led them to the edge of their destination; where his successor, Joshua, took them into Canaan. Moses persevered.

2. Hold to core values and not be corrupted by power. Moses delivered the Ten Commandments—core values from which he never wavered. Rather than become inflated with self importance as a leader of millions, he continually reaffirmed his faith in God. For the last forty years of his life as the people wandered in the wilderness, Moses held true to what he believed.

3. Continually communicate the vision and give the hope of a better world. The people complained and wished to return to Egypt, yet Moses resolutely communicated the vision of going to the Promised Land—a land “flowing with milk and honey.” Although plagued with detours and difficulties, Moses kept the vision alive.

4. Transform the people and organization by replacing old paradigms with new maps “outside the box” of conventional thought. A people who for centuries had been slaves in Egypt were transformed into believing they were a chosen people—the first great step to understanding they had a redemptive message and mission for the world.

5. Exhibit love and devotion to the people. Although the people’s behavior continually disappointed Moses, he persisted in interceding on their behalf even after he learned he would not be allowed to lead them into the Promised Land.

Next month we will see how Moses personified exemplary character.

John Kline
Montgomery, Alabama

Nov. 2010 - Moses: The Prototypical Visionary Leader
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