Patrick Lencioni, business consultant for more than two decades and author of 10 books, speaks to how organizational health is the determining factor in any effective work or ministry. (see The Advantage). How can a leader nurture such a healthy context? We have considered Joseph as a biblical model of a person with impeccable stewardship and as an empowering organizer (Genesis 37-52). For those he served (Potiphar’s household, the royal jail, and the nation of Egypt) he did so with great effectiveness. Now, in light of Joseph’s outstanding example, let’s consider what we can and should do so that our organizational culture will thrive.
- Every leader will have some sense of vision (whether personally discerned or organizationally provided) for which he or she must provide leadership. That vision of a better future may only be understood in embryonic form initially. Joseph was entrusted with two dreams that he did not understand for over a decade. An essential component of an empowering organizer is to keep the vision before oneself so it can be kept before those being served.
- Every calling and mission will be opposed. Never forget that we have an Enemy who seeks to devour. Joseph had family jealousy, sexual temptation, physical hardship, isolation, being forgotten, and enormous challenges we can only imagine by reading between lines. An empowering organizer has learned how to handle opposition. The better one can maintain the perspective that challenges are really developmental opportunities, and the quicker one can realign forward progress with new realities, the more healthy will be the leader and the people.
- Every environment will either be safe or unsafe. A safe environment allows for disagreement as well as failure. It is nothing short of amazing how a Hebrew young man could be appointed as Prime Minister of Egypt and cultivate an organizational culture where people would grow to so trust him that they willingly submitted to his leadership—to the point of becoming bond-slaves.
- Every outcome will rise or fall on recognizing inter-connected parts and setting a course of execution. Empowering organizers look beyond the superficial solutions to see what systemic issues contribute to a given challenge. Joseph masterfully provided leadership into several levels of society—finances, agriculture, city structure, food delivery, tax and compensation. Empowering the right people with resources and authority to fulfill responsibility will result in getting things done well.
Along with Joseph we can also gain insight into a healthy and effective organizational development by studying how Moses built the Tabernacle, Solomon built the Temple, and Nehemiah/Ezra restored YHWH worship in Jerusalem. Leaders will always have flaws but great and godly leaders will value healthy environments where people are blessed while serving God’s purpose. It is a sacred trust to lead people.
How empowering is your leadership within your portion of the organization? On a scale of 1-10, how healthy would the people you serve say the environment is over which you provide leadership? Do people willingly follow you? What else will it take for those you lead to thrive?