A Harmful Ambiguity

When you sound short blasts a second time, the camps pitched on the south are to set out. Short blasts are to be sounded for them to set out. When calling the assembly together, you are to sound long blasts, not short ones. – Numbers 10:6-7

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I used to facilitate a workshop on leadership and used the illustration above as an example of the importance of clarity when providing direction to those being led. Imagine the problems that would have occurred if the trumpet blasts had not been given as proscribed! Each blast was intended to provide direction to over three million Israelites. One wrong “toot” could have easily messed up the whole process. Clear direction came from a clear sound.

In order for a those being led to know where they should be moving, a leader must give clear direction. Ambiguous leadership promotes uncertainty and such uncertainty will eventually unravel even the best organization. When the message is mixed or just passive, confusion often enters in, goals fade, and everyone just begins to do what is right in his or her own eyes (a formula for disaster).

If you lead, make your direction clear and understandable.  Although it may not guarantee organizational cohesiveness, it will certainly promote it. Oh … and leader … also be sure that the horn you’re blowing is God’s and not your own.

If honest of heart and uprightness before God were lacking or if I did not patiently wait on God for instruction, or if I preferred the counsel of my fellow-men to the declarations of the Word of God, I made great mistakes. – George Müller

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