This week it is Passover, and as Jews we partake in a celebration of freedom from slavery and oppression. We are commanded to tell the story of Moses and how he’d led the ancient Israelites from Pharoes enslavement.
In our home my father always recreated the story and the family celebration (the Seder) to make it relevant to us and to reflect modern themes. As a child I remember identifying not just with ancient Israelite slaves, but also with modern day debt slaves in the Indian subcontinent. We were always encouraged to see the festival as an opportunity to explore the concept of liberation in a wider way.
This year was quite different as my father handed the reins of the Seder, and the tradition of leadership to me. It was a strange feeling to sit beside my “Abba” and watch him enjoy the night as a participant, supporting and wishing my success, but allowing me to implant my own leadership style on the proceedings.
Then this morning I hear about the succession planning of a business leader I have always respected. This is long term planning for the success of her business, and what I realised is that she has a 24 month plan that involves making herself replaceable. Interestingly, her nominated replacement is not the popular man of choice, and will need grooming and development to fit the role. He may even need to experience another working environment, in or out of the business, to enable success.
When Moses was chosen to lead the Israelites, he was an unlikely choice. It is said he was such a poor communicator that he had to bring his brother Aeron to meetings to deliver his message effectively. Yet with the belief of his mentor (in this case someone with godlike qualities), and the faith of his people (who could be quite two-faced at times) he led his people effectively. Many in the Jewish faith believe the Exodus story to have relevance beyond the factual story of Egyptian enslavement. They believe that now is a time to explore our own enslavement and create freedom in any area where we feel oppressed.
Actually my father didn’t dump leading the Seder on me this year, or even at the end of of last years Seder when he announced his retirement. He has been succession planning for years and his coaching, council, and support enabled me to easily slip into the role.
Great leaders understand their own strengths and have the ability to see beyond their peoples perceived weaknesses to enable them as future leaders. It is what God did for Moses and what my father has always done for me.
Who are the future leaders in your life?
What limiting beliefs could you help free them from to empower them as leaders?
What qualities do you think leaders will need to drive success in this era?
Answers on a blog comment card.