How Moses Used Delegation to Become a More Successful Leader

How Moses Used Delegation to Become a More Successful Leader

This is Entrepreneurs of Faith, a Sunday episode of Monetization Nation. I’m Nathan Gwilliam, your host. In today’s episode, we’re going to discuss the inspiring story of Moses and how he used delegation to become a successful leader.

The Story of Moses

Moses was a prophet called of God to do His work. God spoke to Moses in a burning bush and called upon him to save the children of Israel from the bondage of Egypt. The Israelites had been slaves of Egypt for 430 years, and after much pain and sorrow, Pharaoh, the ruler of Egypt, told Moses he could take his people and go. 

Exodus chapter 14 is one of the most known in the Bible. While Moses led the Israelites to freedom, Pharaoh took 600 chariots and pursued them, trapping them against the shores of the Red Sea. 

As Pharaoh’s chariots and horses marched towards the Israelites, they became afraid and cried out unto the Lord. In verses 13 and 14 Moses said, “Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will shew to you today . . . The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.”

The Lord commanded Moses to lift up his rod and stretch his hand over the sea to part the waters. As Moses followed the command, the Red Sea divided and the children of Israel walked upon dry ground to safety. 

When we are told this story, it often comes to an end in Exodus chapter 14. Moses saved the Israelites from slavery and led them to God’s promised land. The end. But it doesn’t end there. 

Moses just saved a lot of people. Exodus 12:37 says, “Now the sons of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand men on foot, aside from children.” If the 600,000 number is only the men, then including women and children, we can assume there were millions of Israelites with Moses. 

Exodus 14:31, says the people “believed the Lord, and his servant Moses.” The millions of Israelites were all looking to Moses for guidance. 

Leading the Israelites

With the guidance and direction of the Lord, Moses became the leader of all the Israelites. Exodus chapter 18, explains that Moses went to judge the people and listen to them from the morning until evening. 

When Jethro, Moses’ father in law, saw all that Moses was doing for the people, he said, “The thing that thou doest is not good. Thou wilt surely wear away, both thou, and this people that is with thee: for this thing is too heavy for thee; thou art not able to perform it thyself alone.” (KJV Exodus 18:17-18) In other words, Moses was sitting in judgment alone and trying to do everything himself. He had not learned how to delegate.

Jethro counseled Moses to teach the ordinances and laws of God and to show them the way, but to also provide able men to be rulers over them and help judge. He said, “But every small matter they shall judge: so shall it be easier for thyself, and they shall bear the burden with thee.” (KJV Exodus 18:22)

Moses was an incredible leader, but in this situation, he was doing too much. He was taking on all of the burdens and doing everything alone. Not only is this exhausting, but also less effective and efficient. He listened to Jethro’s advice and appointed other judges to help him. With that help, Moses could help many more Israelites.

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We can learn from Moses’ leadership and example. Being a leader doesn’t mean taking on every task ourselves. It also means delegating tasks to others. I like to tell my managers that their job is to get the job done, not to do the job themselves.

The Art of Delegation 

Entrepreneurs are leaders. Building a startup business often requires entrepreneurs to be involved with many different aspects of the business at the beginning: sales, finances, marketing, content creation, customer service, staffing and management, strategy, and more. Like Moses, we may take on too much, but we need to remember that we don’t have to do it alone. In fact, we shouldn’t. Learning and applying the art of delegation will make our work go along much more effectively and efficiently. Delegation is essential to success. 

Andrew Carnegie, an industrialist and philanthropist who led the expansion of the American steel industry and became one of the richest Americans in history said, “No person will make a great business who wants to do it all himself or get all the credit.”

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In order to grow our businesses, we need to hire team members to do certain tasks and take responsibility for us. By getting help with the day-to-day responsibilities, we will have more time to focus on our higher priorities. When Moses was judging the people by himself, he spent morning until the evening working. However, when he appointed other judges, he had a lot more time to work on more important things. Freeing up time will also reduce stress and exhaustion, thereby improving our workflow. 

With more team members, we will also have more talent, creativity, hours, and ideas to work with. 

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Richard Branson, an author, investor, and business magnate said, “I learnt from an early age the need to delegate responsibility out to other team members as there is just too much for one person to do themselves. What is the point of hiring talented team members if you don’t give them the freedom to make the most of the chance you have given them?”

We may have a lot of great ideas. We may have many talents. But, we will never have as many ideas or as many talents as a group of 20 people, or even three. 

In a study of 143 CEOs, it was found that those with a higher talent in the delegation had an average three-year growth rate of 112 percentage points higher than those with low delegator talent. Those with a high delegator talent also generated 33% greater revenue than those with a lower delegator talent (Source: Gallup). 

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When we delegate effectively, we actually increase our chances of success and monetization. 

Delegation doesn’t just mean handing off tasks to those around us while we watch them do it. We need to be a good delegator, something that requires us to help them be successful. This includes providing training and resources, authority, offering feedback, trusting, setting clear expectations, and ultimately, taking responsibility for the final results. 

“If you want to do a few small things right, do them yourself. If you want to do great things and make a big impact, learn to delegate.” – John C. Maxwell, New York Times Best Selling Author 

Moses and Delegation 

Moses learned early on that he didn’t have to do everything on his own. He was eventually able to use delegation to be a successful leader. 

In Exodus 35 to 39, Moses used delegation to speed up God’s work. God commanded Moses and his people to create a tabernacle, or place of worship, where the Israelites could make offerings unto the Lord. He also provided very specific instructions about how to do it. Moses gave these instructions to the people, and most people helped. Moses didn’t try to do everything himself. 

In chapter 35, all of the Israelites provided offerings of materials to help build the tabernacle. “And they came, everyone whose heart stirred him up, and every one whom his spirit made willing, and they brought the Lord’s offering to the work of the tabernacle of the congregation, and for all his service, and for the holy garments.” (KJV Exodus 35:21)

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The women spun fine linen, rulers brought onyx stones and spice, and others brought jewelry, gold, brass, and more. 

Then God appointed through Moses, Bezaleel and Anoliab, and every wise-hearted man, to be put to work to help build the tabernacle and altar. “Thus was all the work of the tabernacle of the tent of the congregation finished: and the children of Israel did according to all that the Lord commanded Moses, so did they.” (KJV Exodus 39:32)

If Moses had tried to build the tabernacle himself, he could never have done it himself, even with a lifetime of work. However, because he effectively delegated the work to others, they were able to build the tabernacle in a much shorter period of time. 

Just as Moses used delegation to speed up God’s work, we can use delegation to help grow our businesses and become successful leaders. 

Key Takeaways

Here are some of my key takeaways from this episode:

1. Moses was able to effectively and efficiently accomplish God’s work when he delegated tasks out to others.

2. Like Moses, we don’t have to do everything by ourselves. A successful leader and entrepreneur need to be an effective delegator. 

3. If we delegate day-to-day tasks, we will have more time to focus on higher priorities. 

4. If we delegate tasks, we will have more talent and ideas to work with. 

5. Delegating tasks helps our businesses grow faster and increases our chances for success and monetization.

6. To be an effective delegator we need to be involved. We should be clear about our expectations, provide training and the resources our team members need and take responsibility for the final outcomes. 

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    About the author

    Nathan Gwilliam

    Nathan Gwilliam

    I help organizations navigate tectonic shifts that are transforming the business landscape, so they can optimize marketing, accelerate profits, and make a greater difference for good.

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