By Jenni Catron
Although I’d like to believe that I have been the model follower, I’ve certainly done my share of grumbling and complaining. I reflect back on seasons of my career and realize how miserable I must have made life for some of my leaders. Ungrateful and entitled about sums it up.
As my influence and opportunities have grown and I’ve found myself in the leadership seat more often, I’ve been startled by the discontentment and outright frustration that some of my staff have expressed. Granted, there are many days that it’s warranted, but oftentimes there are legitimate circumstances that I can’t control or there are situations we need to endure to get to where we want to be.
Recently I was reading through the book of Exodus again. When I look at all that Moses went through as a leader, it tends to make me feel a bit better about my own challenges. If any one had a tough road of leadership, it was Moses.
As I read, I paid close attention to every time the Israelites grumbled against or quarreled with Moses in the early days of their exodus from Egypt… and it was a lot!
But here is what is curious to me… each time they grumbled or quarreled with him, Moses went to God.
He didn’t argue with them.
He didn’t try to reason with them.
He didn’t try to explain himself or his decisions.
He didn’t try to make them happy.
He went to God.
Moses got what I often forget – He knew that he was simply an instrument for God. Moses understood that he was leading these people for and with God.
I get this wrong all the time. I’ve never considered myself a people-pleaser and yet if I’m honest I feel a whole lot better about my leadership if people like me and like how I’m leading them.
Moses didn’t seem to care what people thought of his leadership. He was much more concerned about whether he was leading them as God had called him to lead them.
Moses’ motivation for leadership wasn’t centered on his personal need for achievement or approval. Fulfilling the calling that God had given him compelled him.
What is your first response when those you lead argue or complain?
Who do you turn to first?
May we all grow to be leaders who go to God first.
Jenni Catron is on the Executive Leadership team at Menlo Church, and the author of The Four Dimensions of Extraordinary Leadership.