Attributes Of Successful Leadership
8 “You shall command the priests who bear the ark of the covenant, saying, ‘When you have come to the edge of the water of the Jordan, you shall stand in the Jordan.’” 9 So Joshua said to the children of Israel, “Come here, and hear the words of the Lord your God.” 10 And Joshua said, “By this you shall know that the living God is among you, and that He will without fail drive out from before you the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Hivites and the Perizzites and the Girgashites and the Amorites and the Jebusites:” Joshua 3:8-10 NKJV
In the verse that immediately precedes these verses in Joshua the Lord told Joshua that beginning that day He would make Joshua a leader in the sight of all Israel. He had to follow in the footsteps of a leadership giant in Moses. How could he ever begin to fill those shoes and manage to get the people to see him as a leader following the leadership of Moses?
Since God told Joshua he would begin to make him a leader in the eyes of the people that very day, we can look at Joshua’s response and learn from his example. Before the day was over God had made Joshua a leader in the eyes of all the nation of Israel. We see this in Joshua 4:14: “ On that day the Lord exalted Joshua in the sight of all Israel; and they feared him, as they had feared Moses, all the days of his life.”
How did Joshua become a successful leader so quickly? We see three quick attributes that Joshua demonstrated in the verses for today. Here is the first attribute of successful leadership; Joshua quickly obeyed the Lord when He spoke. In verse 8 God told Joshua what to do and Joshua did not hesitate. In the very next verse, we see Joshua immediately doing as the Lord instructed. Do you want to be a successful leader? Listen to the voice of Jesus and do not hesitate as most do, move quickly. The good leader under the headship of Jesus does not waver, hesitate or take the time to think it through in the natural. He obeys and acts quickly.
The second attribute of a strong and successful leader under the headship of Jesus is giving all the glory immediately to God and not receiving the glory yourself. In verse 10 Joshua never gives the people even an opportunity to praise him [Joshua]. Joshua shared the Lord’s plan and said they would see the power of the living God before them. Give Jesus all the glory from the get-go.
And we see the third attribute of a successful leader in verse 10 is Joshua speaks with his voice what the Lord told Him. He said this is what God is going to do… you will see Him drive all these nations out from before you. There is the power of life and death in the tongue. Joshua took the Words the Lord told him and He spoke those words out loud for all to hear. Speak what the Lord tells you because speaking it brings it from the spiritual reality to this natural reality. It makes that which is real in the spiritual a firm reality in this life.
If you develop these attributes demonstrated by Joshua, you will find that God quickly exalts you as a leader He can trust and work through as well. He established Joshua in one day. Follow Joshua’s example and become the leader God has called you to be.
J. Todd Hostetler