photo credit: creation swap user Drew Palko
I meet with leaders regularly. Mostly, those are small group leaders at Grace, where I’m on staff.
Nearly every leader struggles with feelings of insecurity about their leadership (I put myself in that boat, too). It’s just part of living life as a broken, fallible human trying to lead people.
- whether our upcoming decision is the right one.
- whether the decision we just made was the right one.
- if we’re strong enough for the job.
- if we’re pleasing the right people.
- whether we’re being successful.
- whether we’re the right person for the job.
- It’s too tough
- I’m too busy
- People aren’t responding
- I still have so much in my life I need to work on
- I don’t know enough
- I haven’t experienced enough
- I’m in over my head
- There are better leaders out there
- I’m not the best leader available
- Do you know my past?
If all leaders, at some level, struggle with insecurity, then all leaders need to hear these words spoken to them:
You can do this.
Moses and Joshua
When Moses was about to die, he knew he needed to pass the baton of leadership for the people of Israel. There was a huge task in front of the Israelites, and they needed a strong leader. Moses knew it wouldn’t be him (we learn this from Numbers 20:12) In Deuteronomy 31:1-8, we see Moses addressing the Israelites in preparation for his coming death. After addressing the people, he called Joshua to him and we read this:
“Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, ‘Be strong and courageous, for you shall go with this people into the land…”
Joshua was taking on a huge responsibility, following the greatest leader that the nation of Israel had known. I can only imagine the feelings of insecurity that were coursing through Joshua in that moment. A confirmation from Moses was what Joshua, this young leader, needed. He needed to hear from another leader, “You can do this.”
Moses told Joshua that he believed in him. He believed that Joshua was the man for the job. He believed that Joshua had what it took to get the job done. Not on his own, of course…”it is the Lord who goes before you.” (Deuteronomy 31:8) In fact, this was so important that Moses affirmed Joshua “in the presence of all Israel.” Joshua needed this encouragement and affirmation.
Encouraging another leader
Every leader needs to hear this from another leader. They need to hear, “You can do this” from someone they respect. They need to hear this from you. It’s vital to their continued growth.
If this is so important, how can you honestly and helpfully encourage and affirm another leader?
Listen to them. Ask good questions. Look to affirm the work they’ve been doing, and speak hope into them. You’ve been where they are, and you’ve had the feelings of insecurity they’re having. Give them these 4 words:
You can do this.