Follow the leader can be a delightful game. As a child I can remember playing it. As kids most of us saw it as a game where we could do goofy and humorous actions. Whether you were the leader or the follower the game was uplifting. Most of the time you could trust the leader to provide playful moments.
Follow the leader as an adult though can take on a more hazardous note. It still can be a fun game but can be challenging when you have been placed in a position where you are called to follow a leader who does not have strong character, capability, and you cannot trust.
These situations are difficult to deal with as a follower. It is no longer a frolic as it was during your childhood.
Then I said to them, “You see the trouble we are in: Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace.” I also told them about the gracious hand of my God on me and what the king had said to me.
They replied, “Let us start rebuilding.” So they began this good work. Nehemiah 2:17-18
The people of Jerusalem during Nehemiah’s time were leaderless and dispirited. They were vulnerable to attack and did not have a strong integrity filled leader to follow. There were leaders in the city of Jerusalem at that time, yet these leaders did not step up and lead as Nehemiah did.
It was not until Nehemiah chose to lead did the people of Jerusalem follow and gave the reply, “Let us start rebuilding.”
As a leader how can you get an endorsement and commitment as Nehemiah did?
John Maxwell’s Leadership Law of Buy-In provides some insight. Maxwell’s Law states that people will commit and follow a leader’s plan and vision only after they buy-in to the leader. He suggests that the leader must be seen first as someone who is worthy to follow. “People will only buy-in to a plan after they buy-in to the leader”.
How did Nehemiah do this?Nehemiah was a person of strong character. He was also a leader convicted to mapping out a plan, ensuring he worked through details, and acquire the resources to carry out his plan. He demonstrated the capability to get results (Covey in Leading at the Speed of Trust).
Nehemiah, through his words and actions, demonstrated and activated each of these factors. His consistent demonstration of integrity and capability received the “buy-in” he needed to convince his followers to complete the re-building of the wall of Jerusalem.
The people committed because Nehemiah spoke honestly to them. He consistently prayed and demonstrated that God also had their best interests at heart. The “gracious hand of my God” was on Nehemiah. If God trusted Nehemiah then the people could trust him.
Trust was the foundation needed to complete the challenging task of rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem.Consistently demonstrating strong character and successfully generating results is the starting point for you to get people to trust you and ultimately buy-in to your vision and plans for change and growth.
Use the leadership model of Nehemiah and commit to being a person of strong character. Do the work to map out a plan to meet your vision. Communicate your vision. Generate wins and if there are setbacks be persistent. Above all seek the favour of God by praying and calling on God for help and support.
Like Nehemiah you too can be successful in building, re-building and completing your vision. We need more leaders like Nehemiah. Follow his exemplary and committed model of leadership.
Five Minute Friday Prompt: Restore