(Genesis 22:1-19)

In the previous article we considered Abraham’s decision to let go of his son, Ishmael. His son Isaac had been born by the time Ishmael was sent away. Isaac was growing and doing well. Right at that very moment, Abraham was faced with his sternest test as a leader and follower of God. He was commanded by to pay the ultimate price. God told him to take his only son, whom he loved, to a mountain and sacrifice him there.

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(Genesis 21:1-14)

We all are confronted by an array of choices and decisions we have to make on daily basis. Leaders are not exempt. Each day leaders have a multitude of decisions they have to make, with varying degrees of difficulty, challenge and importance.

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(Genesis 20:1-18)

One of the hallmarks of a true leader is the capacity to withstand pressure, especially of the sudden and unexpected kind. It is at that very moment or period of time that a leader is expected to act in a way that is consistent with standards of justice and righteousness, regardless of the personal costs or consequences.

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(Genesis 18:16-33)

We live in an age in which the focus of most leadership studies and literature focuses very much on a leader’s competence, with very little reference to the issue of character. The preponderance of the materials in circulation shows a huge bias towards the leader’s ability to do the job. However when we look at true leadership, spiritual leadership in particular, there is always a balance.

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(Genesis 14: 21-24)

In an earlier article, I spoke about core values, principles within and the importance of self-regulation in the life of a leader. This point arises in the passage that forms the basis of this article. It seems to be so simple on the face of it; but it’s one that is often missed. Yet it is absolutely fundamental. If not properly dealt with, it is a cancer that has resulted in the loss of reputation and downfall of leaders and the organisations they lead; both secular and spiritual.

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Strategic servant leadership

(Genesis 14: 1-16)

One of the key essences of leadership is service. The leader is raised up, positioned, called or appointed to serve.

Whatever the process through which a leader emerges, the purpose is to serve those he leads using his leadership gifts. This view of servant leadership has been slowly gaining ground over the last fifteen or so years. Jesus said it clearly, ‘I have come among you as one who serves’.

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(Genesis 13:5-11)

One of the key realities of human nature is that we are preoccupied with self-preservation. We dislike stress, inconvenience or pain of any kind, and so we do everything in our power to avoid or minimise it. Leaders are not exempt from this tendency. However, one of the key characteristics of a servant leader is the capacity to feel secure, allied to a readiness and willingness to sacrifice for the cause.

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Leadership dilemmas

(Genesis 12:10-20)

The role of a leader is one that is filled with conflicts, challenges and dilemmas. The essence of a vision is choosing one direction against another. So, vision by its very nature discriminates and excludes. In the same way, the essence of a strategy is a choice of one route over another.

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(Genesis 12:1-6)
In a previous article I said that leaders tend to be contrarians. A contrarian is a person who opposes or rejects popular opinion or accepted practice. They are individuals who row against the tide. This point is beautifully and clearly illustrated in the story of Abraham that we read in Genesis 12: 1-6. So, when the leaders make their move, it is in effect a step of faith.

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Swimming against the tide

(Genesis 6:8 to 7:24)
One of the characteristics of leadership is a tendency to swim against the tide of popular opinion or the seemingly powerful majority. Leaders are in many ways contrarians. One of the best illustrations of this fact is a man called Noah, the tenth generation from Adam, the first man.

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