Have you ever tried to do it all? In my years of serving in various leadership capacities, I have found this to be one of my greatest challenges…the tendency to take on more responsibility than I can manage. It is a basic and constant battle every leader must face and overcome if they are to maximize their effectiveness.
There are many reasons why leaders try to do it all.
Some get caught up in boosting their own personal ego. Other leaders enjoy the energy rush or feeling of control that comes with having their thumb on everything. A leader may have a lack of trust in others ability to get the job done or a sense that only they have the knowledge to effectively complete tasks. Perhaps they just don’t know any better, assuming or being instructed that’s just what good leaders do.
Becoming an effective leader requires that one learn how to ask for help and then wisely delegate responsibility. One great leader in the Bible, King David, understood this. David’s kingdom was vast, wealthy and powerful. He could not oversee each facet of it by himself, so he positioned leaders to serve in different capacities. Look at this list from I Chronicles 27:25-34 that shows the men David placed over vital components of his empire:
- Azmaveth – the king’s treasure
- Jehonathan – overseer of the realm’s storehouse
- Ezri – in charge of the farmers
- Shimei – took care of the vineyards
- Zabdi – responsible for wine production
- Baal-Hanan – tended to the olive and sycamore trees
- Joash – responsible for the storage of oil
- Shitrai – shepherd of the herds in Sharon
- Shaphat – shepherd of the herds in the valleys
- Obil – watched over the camels
- Jehdeiah – watched over the donkeys
- Jaziz – watched over the flocks
All the people just listed were the officials over King David’s personal property. In addition, David had individuals, possibly those he trusted more deeply, to serve on his inner core leadership team. They included:
- Jehonathan (David’s uncle) – served as a counselor, a wise man, and a scribe
- Ahithophel – serving as a lead counselor to the king
- Jehoiada – counselor to the king
- Abiathar – counselor to the king
- Hushai – a loyal friend to the king
- Jehiel – looked after the king’s sons
- Joab – the commander of David’s army
This is by no means an exhaustive leadership list of those who oversaw parts of David’s realm. There were many other individuals who were leaders over the tribes, the religious institutions, the city gates, the national treasuries, the military divisions, and the nation’s musicians. Needless to say, this would have been an interesting organizational flow chart to map out.
David was a master at involving others in leading his kingdom. Perhaps he knew something that his son Solomon would write about one day: “Without consultation, plans are frustrated, but with many counselors they succeed” (Proverbs 15:22).
Is it hard for you to ask others for help? What have you learned by relying on others?
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