‘You cannot handle it alone.’ Exodus 18:18 NIV
President Theodore Roosevelt once said, ‘The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint to keep from meddling with them while they do it.’ Bottom line: unless you learn to delegate, your leadership will deteriorate and your vision will stagnate.
In Exodus, Moses was wearing himself out physically, emotionally, and spiritually trying to keep up with the demands of two million Israelites and be ‘the answer man’ for every problem. That’s when his father-in-law told him, ‘You cannot handle it alone. Listen now to me and I will give you some advice.’ (Exodus 18:18–19 NIV) It takes wisdom, maturity, and humility to ask for help. And it’s a sign of strength, not weakness. That’s hard to come to terms with, for those of us who take pride in our ability to ‘do it all’. The truth is, what Moses was doing was neither good for him nor the people depending on him. As a leader, it’s easy to overestimate your own importance and competence. That’s why Paul cautions, ‘[Don’t] think you are better than you really are. Use good sense.’(Romans 12:3 CEV) God has placed people around you who have certain gifts and talents. When you recognize and involve these people, they’re fulfilled and the job gets done right. God created us to be interdependent, not independent. Delegating authority to the right people strengthened Moses for the task of leading as God intended. When you try to be ‘all things to all people’, you end up frustrated. You’re not called to do it all, but to get it done through others. That’s what leadership is about.