Lessons from Abraham and Joseph

I asked Facebook followers for a title for today’s post. “How leaders of today can learn from leaders in the Bible,” received the most thumbs up.

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Abraham:

Abraham stepped out when he wasn’t sure of the destination.

Genesis 12:1 indicates he left his home to pursue an uncertain destination. The New Testament indicates that he went out, “Not knowing where he was going.” (Hebrews 11:8)

How many people go on a journey when the destination is uncertain? The answer is, everyone who reaches beyond life as usual.

Lesson:

Go with your highest point of clarity. Find clarity as you go, not before you go.

Abraham chose a course for his life, not an organization. The outcomes of major life choices are always uncertain. Use imperfect clarity to take an imperfect step toward your future.

If outcomes are certain, your life-decision is too small.

Joseph:

Joseph rose above betrayal, backstabbing, and neglect to become the second most powerful person in his world. Genesis 41:20

Dark days:

  • Genesis 37:12 – His brothers plotted to kill him.
  • Genesis 39:14 – He was falsely accused and imprisoned for attempted rape.
  • Genesis 40:23 – He was forgotten by an official he had helped.

Lesson:

Leaders encounter painful relationships and tough circumstances. Give your best even if you’re opposed, unappreciated, or disrespected.

Joseph had a sense of purpose (Genesis 50:20) that enabled him to rise above adversity. It’s fascinating that his brothers plotted to take his life, but, later in life, Joseph indicates his purpose was to preserve life.

Lesson:

Dark days illuminate life’s purpose.

Bill George refers to these dark moments as “crucibles” in, “Discover Your True North.” Leadership success includes integrating, not ignoring, a painful past. The question is, “What are you learning,” not, “Why did this happen.”

How might leaders step forward when they lack clarity?

How might leaders deal with painful relationships and tough circumstances?