Leadership advice from a father-in-law


Have you ever received wise leadership advice from someone you least expected? Even though he has never owned a business, some of my best business and leadership advice has come from my father-in-law.

In Andy Stanley's message titled Time of Your Life, Andy recaps the story of Moses and his father-in-law Jethro from Exodus 18. As the story goes, Moses had led the Israelites out of Egypt and as many as two million people were now under his leadership. Moses became inundated with petty disputes among the people and would end up serving as judge for entire days at a time.

Can you imagine dealing with every little dispute for two million people? Handling disputes between two little girls was challenging enough for me when my daughters were young!

“What are you doing? Why are you doing this alone?” Jethro asked Moses.

You see, Jethro’s credentials did not include a consulting degree or experience leading an entire nation. But he observed what was going on and provided Moses with some excellent leadership advice. The leadership principles Jethro shared with Moses are still applicable today:


  • Give your best time to what makes the biggest impact. What time of the day or week do you have the most energy and focus? Make sure you are using these times wisely and focusing on the tasks that are important, not just urgent.
  • Develop other leaders. In his bookThe 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, John Maxwell refers to this principle as the Law of Reproduction. He says, “It takes a leader to raise up a leader.” When you invest in developing other leaders, you create opportunities for them and free you up to focus on what’s most important. Who can you begin mentoring to become a leader in your organization?

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