“No duty the Executive had to perform was so trying as to put the right man in the right place.“ -Thomas Jefferson
This is in fact a paraphrase of Jefferson’s actual statement, in an 1801 letter to the merchants of New Haven, Connecticut:
“Of the various Executive duties, no one excites more anxious concern than that of placing the interests of our fellow citizens in the hands of honest men, with understandings sufficient for their station. no duty, at the same time, is more difficult to fulfill.”
A few months ago we posted “Nehemiah And the Nine Lessons of Leadership from Catalyst.” As of late we have been spending a great deal of time at work pondering strength based leadership…so I went back to ponder #7
7. Leaders build teams
Nehemiah gained the trust of the people. This permitted him to build a team that, in turn, could make the vision a reality. No one person, not even Nehemiah, could accomplish this vision alone. Nehemiah began with a few, then he expanded the team to include virtually everyone. The people committed themselves to the “common good.”
“We’re told to go and make disciples, but we often just sit and make excuses.“- Francis Chan
You see…shortly after his arrival in Jerusalem, Nehemiah was busily at work putting the right people in the right places in order to form the perfect team.
3 The Fish Gate was rebuilt by the sons of Hassenaah. They laid its beams and put its doors and bolts and bars in place. 4 Meremoth son of Uriah, the son of Hakkoz, repaired the next section. Next to him Meshullam son of Berekiah, the son of Meshezabel, made repairs, and next to him Zadok son of Baana also made repairs. -Nehemiah 3: 3-4
The text above lists specific men as the builders of specific gates….why? Nehemiah placed them in stations according to their strengths and interests, further he had them build the portion of the wall right in front of their homes….we all have motivation…that’s motivation.
John Maxwell notes that Nehemiah recognized the principles that make organizations progress:
1: Motivation without organization equals frustration
2: The strongest organizations are the simplest
3: Leaders love everybody, but move the movers
4: Good organizations establish clear lines of authority
5: People do what you inspect, not what you expect
6: Leaders provide a supportive climate
7: Successful organizations recognize and reward effort
Bottom Line… get the right people in the right places…use their strengths, we can’t afford not to. Second, as leaders–we owe to our people to ensure the organization that utilizes these strengths follows Maxwell’s Seven Principles above… and then–we have a win/win relationship and an organization firing on all cylinders….