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Updated John Headshot 2022
March 24, 2022

Three Steps to Good Leadership

We can learn so much about leadership from Joshua, who led the Israelites after Moses. Some I’ve covered already in “Strong and Courageous: Leadership Lessons from the Book of Joshua.”

As I continue to learn from his example, I’ve realized how easily his lessons can apply to today’s business world and life. So here’s how I practice a 3-step leadership approach that I learned from reading God’s Word.

Leadership step 1: Align with God
Seeking and aligning with God is the first step to outstanding leadership.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Proverbs 1:7 NIV

From the beginning of his story, Joshua continually sought God’s wisdom as he stepped into his leadership role. In Joshua 1:8, we read that God instructed him to “keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” Joshua’s army was victorious as he led the Israelites into the promised land only because he followed God’s instructions.

I start almost every day in God’s Word and prayer. If I don’t, I know I might be tempted to lean on my own wisdom and understanding in my situations. Going it alone has never been a successful strategy for me. I need God’s wisdom to guide me each day.

Leadership step 2: Seek Wise Counsel
God doesn’t always give specific instructions. At times, He wants us to use the resources and people He’s made available to us.

When Joshua was preparing to cross the Jordan River into the promised land, he sent spies to scope it out. He needed to gather information to make decisions. As we read in Joshua 2, the spies came back with a favorable impression: “The Lord has surely given the whole land into our hands; all the people are melting in fear because of us.” (Joshua 2:24) The spies’ report gave Joshua confidence to move forward.

Likewise, we can utilize the wisdom and experience of those around us to make wise decisions. I rely on my wife, pastor, and executive team when decision-making. I don’t know what I don’t know, and many times they’ll have valuable insight into our business decisions and opportunities. It’s critical to involve others and to resist making decisions in isolation.

Leadership step 3: Implement Processes
One of the Israelites' most significant victories happened when Joshua led them to march around the city of Jericho. The army consisted of 40,000 soldiers. Can you imagine the logistics and processes required to follow God’s instructions? God told Joshua to put the priests and musicians in front. But what about all the rest of the soldiers?

Often, God gives us a piece of the puzzle and then allows us to use the abilities He’s given us to accomplish the rest of the task. For example, Joshua used his God-given judgment and wisdom to figure out the Jericho plan of attack.

As leaders, we too must implement processes. We might get some broad or general instructions from God, but He wants me to use my instincts and experience to create the specific action steps for our company’s strategies while trusting Him and allowing Him to make adjustments. I understand that God wants me to be an example of leadership and has given me the tools to achieve that goal (although I must keep growing).

For example, a few years ago, we took our team through a two-year process to hone and improve internal procedures throughout our family of companies. We had a vision from God, but it took a lot of detailed planning to execute that vision.

We didn’t know at the time that this exercise – the fruit of God’s vision – was preparing us for the challenges of the 2020 global pandemic.

So for me, it comes down to trust. We can trust God is with us and will guide us. We can trust in the wise counsel of those around us, and we can trust He has also given us the skills and abilities to lead effectively.

Final thoughts
Sometimes it’s easy to get overwhelmed and be overly cautious while waiting for God to give us specific instructions. However, God wants us to lead with courage and strength. So how can you apply Joshua’s example in your own business?

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