The Bible is filled with stories of leaders who delegated, from Moses to Aaron and the judges to Jesus and his disciples. However, many of us as business owners, entrepreneurs and managers have difficulties with delegation. But if Jesus was willing to delegate His Authority and mission, who are we to think our work is “too important” to delegate or that only we can do the job “right”?
What we can learn from Jesus and Moses is that the critical thing is to surround yourself with people whom you can trust to do the job. They may not do things exactly as you would do them, but if you have chosen the right “inner circle” then you can trust them to do the task.
You need to plant the seed of trust in the process of recruiting your team. When you hire you need to look for certain characteristics that will make your team worthy of the responsibility. Here is a list of key characteristics:
• Core beliefs
• Positive attitude
• Strong work ethic
• Firm principles
You can teach people technical skills, specifics of your business and processes, but you cannot instill into a person values they do not willingly embrace. Ultimately if you can’t trust a person on your team to do the work, the problem lies in one of two places: them or you.
If you hired someone you do not trust or cannot trust, then why did you hire them?
If you hired someone who is capable and trustworthy, but may need development, training or more experience, then you need to invest in that person with your time and your trust. If you hired someone with technical skills, values, and all the other characteristics and you can’t delegate to them, then the problem is you—your ego or need to control things is preventing you from trusting that the person can achieve desired results. Let go and let God enable you to recognize that there are many paths to the same destination and as long as your organization is composed of trustworthy, capable people then you need to lean on those people.
Moses and the Judges
Exodus 18:17–26 (NKJV)
17 So Moses’ father-in-law said to him, “The thing that you do is not good. 18 Both you and these people who are with you will surely wear yourselves out. For this thing is too much for you; you are not able to perform it by yourself. 19 Listen now to my voice; I will give you counsel, and God will be with you: Stand before God for the people, so that you may bring the difficulties to God. 20 And you shall teach them the statutes and the laws, and show them the way in which they must walk and the work they must do. 21 Moreover you shall select from all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them to be rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens. 22 And let them judge the people at all times. Then it will be that every great matter they shall bring to you, but every small matter they themselves shall judge. So it will be easier for you, for they will bear the burden with you. 23 If you do this thing, and God so commands you, then you will be able to endure, and all this people will also go to their place in peace.”
24 So Moses heeded the voice of his father-in-law and did all that he had said. 25 And Moses chose able men out of all Israel, and made them heads over the people: rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens. 26 So they judged the people at all times; the hard cases they brought to Moses, but they judged every small case themselves.
Jesus and the Disciples: The Twelve Apostles are Sent
Matthew 10:1 (NKJV)
10 And when He had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease.
The Twelve Apostles are Instructed
Matthew 10:5–20 (NKJV)
5 These twelve Jesus sent out and commanded them, saying: “Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans. 6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7 And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ 8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give. 9 Provide neither gold nor silver nor copper in your money belts, 10 nor bag for your journey, nor two tunics, nor sandals, nor staffs; for a worker is worthy of his food.
11 “Now whatever city or town you enter, inquire who in it is worthy, and stay there till you go out. 12 And when you go into a household, greet it. 13 If the household is worthy, let your peace come upon it. But if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. 14 And whoever will not receive you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet. 15 Assuredly, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city!
16 “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. 17 But beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils and scourge you in their synagogues. 18 You will be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles. 19 But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak; 20 for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.
When Jesus sent out the disciples, He gave them specific instructions and guidance on how they were to do the job He tasked them with. He also held them accountable and corrected their actions. If Jesus and Moses can delegate, you can too!
Author: Lea A. Strickland, MBA CMA CFM CBM GMC
Copyright ©2012 Lea A. Strickland
All Rights Reserved