But Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had spied out the land, tore their clothes; and they spoke to all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying, “The land we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land. If the Lord delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us” . . . And all the congregation said to stone them with stones. Numbers 14:6-8, 10
During its early stages, a dream is an incredibly fragile thing. As corporate leadership expert and friend Bobb Biehl says, “Dreams are like soap bubbles floating close to jagged rocks on a windy day.” New dreams are fragile because we haven’t had time yet to let them grow or develop. When a seedling oak is only a year old, a child can tear it out by the roots, but once it’s had some time to become firmly established, even a hurricane can’t knock it down.
Young dreams are also more easily shot down because if they are attacked, it is usually by close confidants, because they’re the only people who know about them. Our hopes and desires may be able to weather the criticism of a stranger, but they have a more difficult time surviving when undermined by a friend.
Accepting the Responsibility of a Leader’s Trust
And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. So Judah gathered together to ask help from the Lord; and from all the cities of Judah they came to seek the Lord. 2 Chronicles 20:3-4
A leader can delegate anything except responsibility. Leaders simply cannot give it away. They can model it; they can teach it; they can share it. But in the words of, the buck stops with the leader.
When Jehoshaphat became king of Judah, he assumed a trust. He was to lead the people and manage the nation’s resources. One of his greatest challenges came when an army from three countries laid plans to attack Judah. Jehoshaphat faced the same options we all face in a crisis: give up, back up, or stand up. At such times we find out the quality of our leadership:
1. Dropouts: leaders who give up and fail to take responsibility.
2. Cop-outs: leaders who make excuses for why they aren’t responsible.
3. Hold-outs: leaders who waiver too long to take responsibility.
4. All-outs: leaders who own the responsibility and take action – like Jehoshaphat.