Reframing Responsibility

Moses and commandment

Image source: Zeeweez

I would like to draw a leadership lesson from the life of Moses in the Bible. The Book of Exodus narrates a story of how God got the attention of a shepherd named Moses by using a burning bush. He investigated this strange occurrence of a bush burning up but yet was not consumed by the fire. God then directs him to go to Egypt, a superpower at the time, to tell Pharaoh to release all the Israelite slaves. This was an audacious directive for a simple shepherd who was also a wanted man in Egypt, having murdered an Egyptian about 40 years earlier.

Moses naturally came up with several excuses as to why he was the wrong man to lead the Israelites out of bondage. He was overwhelmed by the enormity of this leadership responsibility so he requested that God get a better candidate for the job. Moses failed to see the opportunity in the directive because all he saw was the responsibility. God was offering him the opportunity to lead men but he was content to simply lead sheep in the wilderness.

A number of people avoid leadership assignments because of its attached responsibilities but fail to spot the tremendous opportunities inherent in these assignments. This perceptual problem has prevented many leaders from seizing the opportunity to move up the leadership ladder because of a lack of self confidence. Sometimes you need to trust that those offering you these leadership responsibilities believe in your leadership abilities. God saw the leadership potential in Moses which he failed to recognise in himself.

Leaders, especially new ones, should learn to reframe responsibility from being a burden to being an opportunity to stretch and grow their leadership skills. Moses obeyed God by taking on the leadership assignment and he would go on to become one of the greatest leaders in Jewish history.

11 Comments

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11 Responses to Reframing Responsibility

  1. Oluwaruth

    The role of leadership responsibility it is emphasised a great deal. Some may believe that specific personalities are a better fit than others for such roles. In reference to Moses maybe that’s what he felt. This could be the reason why the people refrain from taking up such positions.
    What do you suggest that may help?

    • Hey Ruth,
      I believe that Moses was suffering from low self-confidence and this is the reason why he was hesitant to go to Egypt. 40 years earlier he had tried to be the leader and deliverer of the Israelites and they had rejected him so he was not keen to suffer rejection the second time from his people. The fear of failure has kept many leaders from seizing leadership responsibilities and opportunities. You need to be courageous when confronted with leadership responsibilities.

      Courage is not always the absence of fear but the ability to act in spite of fear. Courage has enabled some leaders to push through their fear to maximize the opportunities before them. My advise: Be Courageous! Also check out Itee’s comment in response to this blog post as well.

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  3. Osaretin

    I can’t think of a better way this message could have been passed across. many thanks

  4. Itee

    That is so true.

    It is not only the big assignments that we turn away but the little ones we sometimes think is of no real benefit. Every opportunity no matter how great or small which allows you the opportunity to do something new is one to be utilised. The truth is, if u fail at something that no one has ever done u still suceed in proving it can not be done! either way you are a trendsetter!

  5. Oluwaruth

    Oh so true… I never thought of it that way. Thanks for the insight!

  6. Ogechi

    Ya, this is good stuff. Ok, so here’s what caught my eyes….

    ‘A number of people avoid leadership assignments because of its attached responsibilities but fail to spot the tremendous opportunities inherent in these assignments.’

    Am already checking myself to see if I’m guilty of this. As much as I love to be challenged, I find myself wanting to widthdraw if what I am presenting is not being receieved accordingly…but I realize that’s just taking the easy way out.

    So here’s what continues to motivate me, you hit it right on the spot:
    Leaders, especially new ones, should learn to reframe responsibility from being a burden to being an opportunity to stretch and grow their leadership skills

    The bit about responsibility being an opportunity for growth makes me willing to endure, no matter what response/feedback I get. I’m willing to be stretched for the cause I am leading.
    Obeying the call to leadership is a good start. We really gotta stay tuned to the inner leader in us…and keep self-developing b/c the call to take our place can come at any time,…and no excuses will be good enough. Thanks for this!

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