Without question Moses is an impact leader. Moses is such an effective leader that history, theology, classical art, music and even popular movies have all recognized the import and the impact of his life. Moses is venerated by all of the major religions of the world. But this biblical character has not been restricted to discussion in the hushed religious circles of collared clerics.
He is recognized and chronicled in so widely a manner that every Easter/Passover season in America there is a popular movie that my family watches yearly – since I was a child.
This movie watching has become a tradition with millions of people across the world. Regardless of whether they are observant/practicing or even active religiously. Moses has made an impact.
Moses’ life is so detailed in the scriptures that we can see clearly his pedagogical development as a leader. Each step and stage is laid out so clearly, that all four movements of the symphony of his leadership development are played out for us, first on the pages of the Torah and then continued in the New Testament.
There are literally hundreds of lessons to be learned from his life that would benefit leaders but I’ve decided to share ten things I think are most important to leaders who are desiring to make an impact in the world.
Lesson #1: You Must First Be Free Before You Can Lead Someone Else To Freedom. No one takes driving lessons from people who can’t drive. This is one of the first lessons that people who desire to be impact leaders must learn.
To have a lasting impact as a leader you cannot “fake it till you make it” in every area of your life. Leaders have to authentically live out and embody certain principles in order to see them replicated in the lives of the people that they are leading.
One of the first things we learn about Moses is that although he is born from an enslaved and dominated people, he himself is not framed by that mindset.
He that will be used by God to bring deliverance to his people, must first be delivered. The Torah tells us that Moses parents defied the dictates of Pharaoh and did not put their son to death. And that with the assistance and collusion of two midwives, who also determined to defy the earthly king, they saved Moses’ life. They decided not to carry out his death sentence, on the birthing stool.
Moses’ life is initially protected by free thinking people, who are not even physically free. Most people see his liberation take place at the edge of the Nile River; the result of the decision making of a free princess of Egypt to both adopt, educate and raise him. But the process of Moses’ deliverance didn’t start there. It started in the chains of slavery- those chains that could not bind the minds of his parents.
They consciously revolted against their oppressors and determined that even if their body was not free, their decisions would be. Moses’ parents were radical revolutionaries in spite of their chains. The decided to defy their oppressor and even if they could not change their lives they would change the life of their child.
Deliverance is never first seen physically; deliverance starts in the mind. It is the bold determination that I will not be dominated by my situation, nor my environment; my future is not fixed by the system I find myself born into and no caste, nor king, nor country can control the arch of my destiny.
True Deliverance is born only in the womb of the dominated, but once born it cannot be denied. Leaders must first understand this principle, before they can make an impact. If they do not understand it, they will not have the internal force necessary to embody a revolution that produces a systemic evolution.
Impact originates in the mind and then shows up in actions that change: first your immediate life, and then your world.
June 2015, Denver Colorado USA