Nehemiah: Portrait of a Selfless Leader – IDEDE Oseyande

IDEDE Oseyande
IDEDE Oseyande


“Temptation (in this case, opposition), will definitely come, but Woe unto him through whom temptation will come”~ rephrased from the Bible.

Every condition in life, no matter how awful, is a blessing to someone else. As victims of war are crying for loved ones lost, properties destroyed, landlords rendered homeless; those making supplies for the execution of the war are smiling to the bank. They are busy counting their profits, and hoping the war never ends. To them, those suing for peace are enemies of progress. This might sound absurd, but it is the reality of life.

In this same vein, no matter how lofty your ideas, vision, and mission might be, as much as it alters a trend, status quo, or brings about a new order, it must attract opposition. Some might even oppose you for reasons as trivial as mere jealousy. They are in agreement that your vision is quite alright, but their ‘beef’ is that you are the one executing it, instead of them. So you shouldn’t be surprise if your “great idea” is being opposed.

“When Sanballat the Hornite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, heard of it, it grieved them exceedingly that there was come a man to seek the Welfare of the children of Israel…..”

It will be self-deceit for any leader, idealist, or a reformer, to think that his/her vision or idea is too good to be opposed.

This is where many leaders justify failure. They keep saying, “I was about breaking even”, “it was almost a success before this or that spoilt it”. As a leader, your idea or vision is like pregnancy, and you must use all available legal means to defend it. Else, it will never come to fruition.

The reason is this, opposition must come; and in most cases, they might not come openly. They usually come in three phases.

First, they show it as mere jealousy or envy. This was displayed by Sanballat and Tobiah in the above quote.

Second, they will come will seemingly rational or legal advice, which you never solicited for.

.. “They laughed us to scorn, and despised us. And said, what is this that ye do? Will ye rebel against the King?”

Now tell me, which rebellion? When Nehemiah had made it public that he has already acquired the approval of the King.

Third, they will try to mock and trivialize your idea or vision, as if it is not worth the effort.


“now Tobiah the Ammonite was by him, and he said, even that which they build, if a fox go up, he shall even break down their stonewall….

And when you scale through these three phases unscathed, they will open their cover, and confront you openly.

*But it came to pass, that when Sanballat, and Tobiah, and the Arabians, and the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites, heard that the walls of Jerusalem were made up, and that the breaches began to be stopped, then they were wroth, and conspired all of them together to come and to fight against Jerusalem, and to hinder it.”

This is where the proactive nature of the leader comes in. The vision must not be hindered by the opposition, as strategies must be in place to counter these offences from the enemies.

“And it came to pass from that time forth, that the half of my servants wrought in the work, and the other half of them held both the Spears, the shields, and the bows, and the habergeons, and the rulers were behind all the house of Judah”

A proactive leader must anticipate opposition and make plans to protect the vision and those that are helping in achieving that vision. He doesn’t go about lamenting his inability to progress because of opposers.

He is focused in achieving the set goals, come what may!

*Quality considered: Proactive Mind!*

…to be continued.

IDEDE Oseyande

Thought Tutor

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