“I’m a senior business major and my officers are seniors,” he explained. “We all graduate in May. Who will take the reins and lead the business students after we move on?”
Jason and his officers faced one of leadership’s greatest challenges … replacing themselves with individuals who can lead the group forward once Jason and his officers complete their studies.
Jason is not alone in his dilemma. We are all leaders of something in either our work, families, churches, or communities. The greatest test of our leadership is our willingness and ability to train another to take our position. Without a succession plan, all we accomplish can unravel. Our vision for what could be will stall or die.
For the best practice in succession planning, I propose taking a lesson from Moses. Moses knew his death approached and commissioned Joshua to then lead the Israelites. Inspired by God, Moses chose Joshua based on three critical “P’s” — Potential, Passion, and Preparation.
Potential: Early in the exodus, Moses observed Joshua’s leadership potential when he led the Israelite army to fight and defeat the Amalekites. Joshua excelled in his role and several times led the nation to victories over its enemies. (Exodus 17:9)
Passion: Moses also knew Joshua trusted God with a passion. He listened as Joshua and Caleb returned from a spy mission to the promised land and encouraged the Israelites to enter it as God directed. When the other ten spies grumbled that its inhabitants were too powerful to fight, Joshua and Caleb tore their clothes and pleaded with the Israelites to reconsider and not rebel against God’s plan. (Numbers 14:1-9)
Preparation: Moses selected Joshua as his assistant, giving Joshua firsthand experience to understand what it meant to lead God’s people. Only Joshua accompanied Moses part way up the mountain when Moses received the ten commandments and other references show him often at Moses’ side.
Each of us is only a link in the chain of God’s work in the world. So, who is our Joshua who will carry the banner forward after we graduate? Who has God placed in our path with the potential and passion to lead? Who should we help prepare as the next link in God’s march through history?
Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the presence of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you must go with this people into the land that the Lord swore to their forefathers to give them … The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you … (Deuteronomy 31:7-8, NIV)
©2012 Gloria Ashby. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail.