Leadership Principles From Nehemiah Pt. 2 (Chapter 2)

Posted: February 27, 2012 in Nehemiah, Uncategorized
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The second chapter of Nehemiah shows a man of action presenting, pursuing and communicating a plan.  Nehemiah meets his task head on in a manner in which all of us who lead can learn from.  He does not shy away from opportunity but rather manufactures opportunity to do the work of the Lord.  The following are some lessons on leadership that we find in the second chapter of the book of Nehemiah.

1. A leader uses all available resources he has to benefit those that he leads. (1.11; 2.1)

In the end of chapter one we find a statement that says, “I was the cupbearer to the king.”  Nehemiah utilizes this opportunity to leverage his mission.  Yet, he does not do this without putting his own neck first on the line.  In fact in requesting that King Artexerxes grant him the opportunity to return to Jerusalem and commence in rebuilding the city he potentially faced the kings wrath.  You see Nehemiah knew the practices of Kings to put to death those who offer unwanted input to the king (Esther 3.11).  Yet, this did not matter to Nehemiah.  He was the cupbearer to the king.  He had opportunity to present his case because he was the cupbearer and did just that.  He recognized that he was a steward not just of his possessions but also was a steward of his position and opportunity.

2. A Leader Goes Into A Volatile Situation With A Plan Already In Place (vs. 2-10)

Nehemiah did not just show up to the King and act boldly.  He knew exactly what he wanted.  He did not pause to think of what to do next once he realized he had the ear of the king.  He knew what must be done.  The fact that stress was high and the stakes were also high did not limit Nehemiah’s effectiveness.  He presented the king with a plan.  A plan for a trip and a plan for rebuilding.  Without a plan that was presented unapologetically it is quite possible God would have used another man to rebuild Jerusalem.  Nehemiah did not shy from a man that could have ended his life.  Rather he presented a plan boldly that he believed to be God’s plan.  Doing nothing is not an option for a true leader.  Situations like the one Nehemiah found himself in are what sets apart true leaders from the wanna-be leaders.

3. A True Leader Sees What The Issues Are Firsthand.  If The Issues Are Important Enough To Fix, They Are Important Enough To Inspect! (vs. 11-16)

Once Nehemiah finally arrived in Jerusalem, he did not sit and become overwhelmed with the severity of the situation.  Rather he snuck out of his shelter one evening and personally examined the city.  He wanted to see the devastation firsthand.  He did not want to merely listen to the reports of others.  A true leader will not demand an issue gets fixed until he first examines the issue.  If is important enough to fix, then it is important enough to inspect.  If a leader is not willing to get dirty and do some legwork to benefit those he serves, then he is not in it for service.  He is in it for recognition.  A leader that is not willing to fulfill the obligations that his position demands should not be a leader.

While chapter 2 has several other leadership principles, I wish to leave you only with the three I mentioned.  I also wish to ask do you view yourself as a steward of all you have and are?  If so, can this be seen by your actions?  Do you have a plan of action?  Are you proactive or merely reactive?  Finally, are you willing to see the issues firsthand?  Will you get your hands dirty to examine a need rather than mandating that others do it?  We must not tell people how to operate, we must show them.

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