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December 2014 -Three Leadership Lessons from Moses

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Moses was one of the greatest leaders that ever lived.  First, he had a clear vision to lead the children of Israel away from slavery in Egypt and into the Promised Land; second, he was a man of great character and third, he was highly successful in implementing positive change, taking a group of ragtag slaves and transforming them into the great nation of Israel.

Leaders must have a clear vision.  Two of my friends and colleagues are among the greatest visionary leaders today.  First is Dr. John Ed Mathison who led Frazer United Methodist Church from a building located in a cotton field on the edge of Montgomery, Alabama, to a church of nearly ten thousand members and a national influence through its television ministries and church growth conferences. He has extended that influence by following his vision of planting churches and mentoring pastors worldwide. Dr. Jack Hawkins, Chancellor of Troy University is another visionary leader.  His vision of internationalizing a small regional college in rural Alabama led to a global campus with programs online, campuses as far away Viet Nam, and greater than ten percent international students on the Troy, Alabama, campus. But Moses was a prototype of visionary leadership.  Moses received his vision at the burning bush and never compromised the big picture as he persevered to fulfill the vision of leading the Children of Israel to the Promised Land. The term “Promised Land” has become synonymous with success, happiness, and the ultimate goal.

Leaders should demonstrate exemplary character. Moses was a personification of exemplary character.  He demonstrated great compassion as he cared for his followers and intervened with God in their behalf. He was unmatched in the Old Testament as a true servant leader who led to serve others and the good of the nation of Israel.  He demonstrated absolute integrity as he adhered strictly to moral, ethical, and religious codes. The world is crying out for character-based leaders.  Without them, families, organizations, and nations fall.

Leaders must be able to implement change. Moses was a proficient master of implementing change. When teaching classes or conduction training on leading change, I often use the example of Moses in the Wilderness.

  • Crossing of the Red Sea prevented return to the old way
  • The “murmuring” of the people did keep him from focusing on the vision
  • He delegated so that others could help deal with the followers
  • He capitalized on the opportunities to build the nation
  • He resisted the urge to push ahead into the Promised land until the right time
  • Moses succeeded; he prepared the nation to enter the Promised Land

Moses was a master leader with vision, character and the ability to implement change.


John Kline
Montgomery, Alabama

December 2014 - Three Leadership Lessons from Moses
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