So we rebuilt the wall until the entire wall was joined together up to half its [height], for the people had the will to keep working. – Nehemiah 4:6
Many have written about the leadership principles contained in the Book of Nehemiah … including me. And why not? The man did his job well and he did it in obedience to God. For me, one of the clearest examples of Nehemiah’s leadership acumen was seen in the passionate diligence of those who actually did the work. The biblical record indicates that they “had the will to keep working” and did it wholeheartedly as a unit.
So what does the way the people worked have to do with Nehemiah’s leadership? As a leader (and strategist), he allowed each member of the construction “team” to work in an area that held their greatest interest and concern (according to their passion), which included protection of their personal home and family. Of course, individual safety could only be guaranteed if the person working next to you also performed well and this “strategy” created the linkages that bound the unit together. When the work of everyone else has an effect on your success (and the success of the entire project) then you want to encourage the best in one another.
Community (and camaraderie) is often discovered in the areas of common interest we share, but it must also be wrapped in an all-encompassing goal that is bigger than individual concerns. Good leaders see this, capture it, and communicate it for greater effectiveness and success.
The very essence of leadership is that you have to have vision. You can’t blow an uncertain trumpet. – Theodore Hesburgh