7 Elements of Effective Leadership: The Jethro Model

So you have a vision. You’ve asked the “why” and you’re now looking to mobilize a team of people to help figure out the “how.” You’ve grasped the immensity of your calling, but realize that one person is not enough to make your vision a reality.

Now here lies the challenge, to lead a team, you must develop your leadership potential. So how do you become an effective leader?

We’re often told that the Bible contains the answers to many of our questions; this is certainly true regarding leadership principles. For example, in Exodus 18, we’re introduced to an excellent model of effective leadership through the story of Jethro and his son-in-law Moses.

Moses was single-handedly dealing with all the problems that were confronting Israel; he was the go-to-guy for everything. Jethro saw in Moses’ style of leadership a sure way for burn out. So he advised Moses to share some of his responsibilities with trusted people. Moses would however continue to represent the people before God—he would teach them godly principles and show them how to live and what to do (Exodus 18:13–24).

Jethro’s advice on the need for effective administration and organization in Moses’ camp can be applied to better any leadership context, be it in your church, business, organization, or family.

So what leadership lessons can we learn from the Jethro Model?

1.  Effective leaders know their limitations. Leadership is not a one-man show. A compelling vision is too big a burden to carry alone; when you burn out, you burn everything out.

2. Effective leaders stand before God for the people. Schedule regular time with God and pray continually for wisdom, direction, and ideas regarding your global vision. Realize that you need a source of strength beyond yourself.

3. Effective leaders teach. Develop a passion for teaching and raising up other leaders. The real test of leadership is your ability to reproduce yourself in the lives of others. Inspire your team to buy into your vision until they own it. The Jethro Model outlines 3 p’s for effective teaching:

  • Principles—teach the principles
  • Practice—illustrate the principles through examples; allow learning through practice
  • Processes—teach and demonstrate processes and systems that work

4. Effective leaders create teams. Identify a list of qualities that you desire in your candidates and make selections based on these criteria; Moses chose individuals who were capable, God-fearing, trustworthy, and of integrity. Share your vision with committed individuals who will in turn teach others.

5. Effective leaders delegate. Great leaders don’t try to do everything themselves—they focus on the big picture and break it down into manageable chunks. Share the workload with individuals you have prayed for, taught, and trained. Assign clear and specific roles and responsibilities to each team member while maintaining oversight and control. In doing so, you demonstrate trust in the team and foster individual growth.

6. Effective leaders create a system of accountability. If you want your business, vision, or ministry to succeed, it’s imperative that you check, control, and demand an account from your team at every stage of the game. The saying goes, “You can expect what you inspect.” Therefore, develop a simple yet workable system of accountability to inspect the work of your team. This is a biblical principle: even Jesus demanded an account from His disciples who often communicated both what they had done and what they had taught (Mark 6:30).

7. Effective leaders encourage and empower excellence. Always encourage your team. Encourage commitment and dedication by helping your team become organized in their personal and family lives. Stimulate professional and personal development.

By following these principles, you willl bear the burden of your vision with like­­-minded people. Serving among happy dedicated people will help you endure the journey, avoid burn out, and finish well—all great rewards of effective leadership.

The function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers ~ Ralph Nader.

Enter into your reward.

Copyright © 2012 Uwana.


10 thoughts on “7 Elements of Effective Leadership: The Jethro Model

  1. Pingback: Deckchairs and Inspiration – Are you a Manager or a Leader?

  2. Pingback: (Effective) Leadership? | Anita M

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