Nehemiah: A Portrait of a Selfless Leader 3 – IDEDE Oseyande
“An ideal leader does not get entangled with emotions, rather he does the following: Appraise, Strategize, and Execute”
As humans, we tend to be very emotional. The funny aspect of emotion is that, it works like the intoxication derived from the use of alcohol or narcotics. As soon as it fades away, it takes its victims back to default settings. All what you were inspired, or motivated to do in your emotional state becomes impossible, or too difficult, when the emotion is no longer there. A good leader therefore knows how to put emotions in check.
When Nehemiah was told of the state of his nation Judah, and Jerusalem the capital, he was heartbroken, emotionally down, and depressed. However, as a seasoned leader, he knew solution would not come by mere crying and praying. He needed to act, if he would have the chance to remedy things. This he did by following *the rule of thumb for effective problem solving in leadership: Appraise, Strategize, and Execute!*
Appraisal: he started by tracing the source of the problem. During the appraisal, he realized that Judah, which is the southern part of Israel, was a nation chosen by God. Also, Jeremiah the prophet of God had earlier prophesied many years before, that Judah and her inhabitants would be taken captives, Jerusalem would be destroyed, and the temple pulled down. This was to serve as a punishment for the sins of the whole nation. “…and their years in bondage shall be three score and ten (70 years)”. Still on the root of the problems, Nehemiah discovered that the time was already fulfilled. This meant they were over staying in a strange land as slaves.
With the root of the problems known, he started to strategize on the best approach to solve the problems. The strategies were clearly outlined in three segments.
– Seek the face of the Lord God of Israel for forgiveness for the sins of his generation, and for those before them.
– Seek permission from the King, whom he serve as the cup bearer, to go back home and build his nation
– Seek the support of his fellow country men to join in the mission of rebuilding their nation. This he did, knowing fully that he could not do the work alone.
With the Appraisal completed, Strategies well spelt out, he launched into the execution phase.
He sought the face of the God of Israel for forgiveness. He pleaded for mercy for the sins of his fathers. Mind you, Jeremiah made the prophecy long ago, and the prophecy was not fulfilled even in Jeremiah’s time. So at the time of Nehemiah, it was actually the sins of their forefathers that they were suffering for. Yet, Nehemiah did not *trade blame*. He did not speak of how unjust it is to have his generation suffer for the sins of their ancestors. He did not exonerate his generation from the mess, neither did he try to present himself as a saint before God. Here is an excerpt of his prayers.
“…let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee now, day and night, for the children of Israel thy servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel, *which we have sinned against thee: both I and my father’s house have sinned*”
A good leader is solution driven and has no time for *blame trade*!
*Quality considered: Emotional stability*
…..to be continued.