April 25, 2016
“I never would have thought of that…”
Moses was the Great Leader who led the Jews out of Egypt, parted the Red Sea, brought the crowd – 2 million strong – into the wilderness… and found him mired in management. He was spending his days – all day – as the arbiter of the day-to-day, and his leadership was suffering.
Jethro – a Midianite, Moses’ father-in-law – came to the camp to deliver Moses’ wife and sons (they had missed the miracles in Egypt) – and watched Moses’ daily routine, handling the walk-up problems. The first consultant in Bible history: Jethro was a pro-bono savior. “What you are doing is not good… Listen now to me and I will give you some advice… If you do this and God so commands, you will be able to stand the strain, and all these people will go home satisfied…” (Exodus 18).
Jethro’s input: set up an org chart; create a management infrastructure, and you be the Supreme Court. Let stuff come to you through the system; people need good answers… they don’t need you to be the one who gives them. Moses followed Jethro’s counsel – to the letter – and his calendar cleared.
The next big event? Exodus 19: Moses’ first meeting with God on Mt Sinai. He was finally freed-up to do what only he could do, because a trusted voice designed a new delivery system.
Brian Dowd came to me a few years ago with an observation that should have been obvious: there were more leaders who needed The Master’s Program than I could handle alone. Brian went through TMP and seminary in parallel, and realized his future led to the marketplace, not a church. As a leadership coach, he works with individual leaders, but realizes the multiplier-effect of TMP’s cohort model. Brian’s counsel echoed Jethro’s input to Moses: “…select capable men from all the people and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. Have them serve as judges for the people at all times, but have them bring every difficult case to you,” (v. 21-22).
Today, Brian leads the Coaches program: recruiting, vetting, training, coaching TMP grads who are replicating the model in their cities, multiplying our potential exponentially. They’re great…
It happened again, 18 months ago. Noah Elias – long-time mentee, 2x TMP grad – came to me and said, “Listen now to me and I will give you some advice…” He watched me, from dawn to dusk (ala Moses) leading TMP sessions in three time zones, spending my nights flying 1000 miles to get to the next day’s group. “If you do this and God so commands, you will be able to stand the strain…”
Noah’s Jethro-counsel: go on-line. Design and build a version of The Master’s Program that will serve leaders who aren’t accessible to you or the TMP Coaches. Focus on serving the Millennials, but welcome everybody; remove the obstacles that stand in the way of people saying “yes!” to TMP.
Like Brian, Noah is now leading a new initiative that Bob (I’m TMP’s Moses) would have never conceived. Master’s OnLine (masters.life) has gone live; we’re hoping that you’re forwarding what you’re receiving from us to your contacts, to help MOL go viral. Preview the teasers yourself, and then post links on your social media platforms; enroll your now-adult kids; engage your emerging leaders from the office; be creative and encourage the high-potential – but still perfecting – younger people you see around you who have a lot, but are missing a mentor.
Dave Waters pulled a Jethro: as a Master’s grad, it was his idea to translate TMP’s curriculum into Spanish, and take it to Latin America. He’s a full-time senior pastor in DC Beltway, but in his spare time, he doesn’t play golf: he’s a missionary for TMP south of our border. He has multiple TMP groups underway already, with more in the works. More people speak Spanish than speak English!
What am I going to do with all this “free time,” as TMP groups are launched and led without me in the room? I think God and I have some business to do up on Mt Sinai…