The Exodus story tells us about one of the world's first CEOs. With Passover beginning the night of April 2, it seems fitting to look at Moses' strengths and weaknesses. Was he a good leader? Did he market freedom and the Promised Land successfully?
Whether your religious traditions embrace the Old Testament or not, the Exodus story captures the responsibilities of leadership. Moses certainly has some similarities to present-day leaders, and of course some differences.
(This is a good time for a disclaimer. I am not a religious expert. Several years ago, I took a class on the Exodus. So, if you find inconsistencies from a religious perspective, don't hold them against me!)
1. It's OK to question yourself
From my recollection of Old Testament stories, one of the modus operandi of several prophets is that they don't always think they're fit for the role; and, in fact, Moses didn't want the job. He had his doubts, as I'm sure many current leaders do. Self-doubt, reflection, and evaluating decisions may be fairly typical. But not wanting the job may not be as common. Although, I'm sure some leaders didn't necessarily want to move up but were encouraged and cajoled by spouses, colleagues, the board, etc. Let's assume these are the minority.
It's healthy for leaders to question, evaluate, and consult with others when making decisions. However, once a decision is made, it's also important to go forward with confidence and conviction.
2. Get down in the trenches and listen to employees
Moses grew up with a silver spoon in his mouth, having been raised by the Pharaoh's daughter. Yet, he truly related to and understood the slaves' life of misery. After discovering his true identity, Moses discarded his Egyptian upbringing and went to live among the slaves, abandoning riches and luxuries. The rest of his life was devoted to freeing his people and listening to their issues.