The Burden of Leadership -6
“A good Shepherd (leader) lays down his life for the sheep (followers)”
One of the prominent problems in Nigeria is the lack of sacrificial leaders. We have been plagued with Shepherds who eat the flocks to stay alive instead of making sacrifices for the flocks.
Nehemiah was a political leader, who served as a Governor by appointment. And he served for twelve years! While in office, he had this to say:
“Moreover from the time that I was appointed to be their governor in the land of Judah, from the twentieth year even unto the two and thirtieth year of Artaxerxes the king, that is, twelve years, I and my brethren have not eaten the bread of the governor”
Why did he not eat the bread of the governor?
“…yet for all this required not I the bread of the governor, *because the bondage was heavy upon the people”*
Did he do anything different from the previous governors? Yes, he acted in a completely different way.
“But the former governors that had been before me were chargeable to the people and had taken from them bread and wine, besides forty shekels of silver; yea, even their servants bare rule over the people: but so did not I, because of the fear of God”.
Mind you, he was not acting well because he wanted to be reelected. He did not need their votes because his was by appointment. Still, he did what was right!
I have written in detail about the standard of leadership as outlined by Nehemiah in my book, ‘The Portrait of a Revolutionary Leader’, so I will not belabor you with further footprints of the excellent way of leadership he has given us.
You cannot be an outstanding leader when you’re not ready to make sacrifices for the people you are leading. If you need a practical step-by-step guide, I will recommend you get the book.
In my opinion, that is the yardstick for every leader to emulate!