Posts tagged with: Nehemiah

A woman submerged in clear water

Leading in a Crisis: The Need for Vulnerability

Our relationship with God will help us be leaders who are unafraid to be fully human. If, like Nehemiah, we can come before God with open hearts, knowing that we are accepted and loved, then we will find freedom to be prudently vulnerable with others. We will do this, not for our own benefit. Rather, as Lencioni observes, we’ll open our hearts “for the collective good of the team.” And, I would add, for the good of all of those we serve through our leadership. If my team is working well together, for example, then we’ll do a better job serving you.

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Leading in a Crisis: Honoring a Variety of Emotions

We see in Nehemiah an example of a leader who took seriously the emotions of his people, no matter what they were feeling. He listened to them and felt empathy for them. He did not ignore or minimize what they felt. Nor did he ignore or minimize what he felt. Though he was not governed by emotions, he nevertheless honored them as a leader.

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A gated Fence

Leading in a Crisis: Honoring Emotions

It’s likely that the people you lead are afraid these days. They may be afraid of contracting COVID-19. They may be afraid of dying from this disease. They may be afraid for their friends and loved ones. They may be afraid of going stir-crazy in their homes. They may be afraid of losing their jobs or suffering from a crippled economy. And on and on. As a leader, part of your job involves taking seriously the fears of your people. This doesn’t mean being governed by those fears. But it does mean honoring them and, more importantly, honoring the people entrusted to your care. They need to know that they, in their full humanity, feelings and all, matter to you.

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a woman praying in the snow

Leading in a Crisis: Before the God of Heaven

Nehemiah’s example invites us to examine our own leadership. Are we, like Nehemiah, inclined to turn to God when we face difficult situations? Is it our instinct to pray in all sorts of contexts and conversations? Do we intentionally live and lead “before the God of heaven”?

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a man in distress in the dark

Leading in a Crisis: Where Should You Start?

Leaders mustn’t be governed by emotions, of course. They need to exercise all of their human faculties when they lead, especially in times of crisis. But Nehemiah’s example encourages us not to ignore or mask our true feelings. When it comes to your leadership in the COVID-19 crisis, I expect you have many feelings: fear, compassion, frustration, anxiety, confusion, distraction, hope, hopelessness, sadness, anger, love, and gratitude. I’m sure you could add to this list. My point here is that you will be a leader of integrity if you allow yourself to feel, acknowledging your feelings to yourself and others—and, as we’ll see tomorrow, also to God.

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