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Leadership Principle #4
The leader who constantly trains his or her people also builds their spiritual strength, which multiplies the effects of their skills and resources.

            “‘We can’t go up against the people because they are stronger than we are!’” – Nu 13:31 (NIV)

In the book of Numbers, the Lord gives explicit instructions for organizing the Israelite nation of two million farmers and laborers into a fighting machine.

While God predicts and guarantees victory after victory for his people, at the same time he stresses organization and discipline.

It seems modern military experts agree with this approach. According to a report published by the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, extensive training is the basis for “spiritual strength.”

This spiritual strength, says the report, is a mixture of 1) the leaders’ command and control, 2) discipline and fighting spirit, and 3) widespread teamwork. The report’s conclusion is that strength and skill by themselves can’t outperform these intangible properties working together.

General John P. Jumper, retired Air Force Chief of Staff, wrote, “Spiritual strength is an integral part of leadership. Our greatest leaders are able to elevate the human spirit and inspire extraordinary performance.”

Is it possible to build this strength in people that don’t face life-and-death battle situations? According to the Army’s report, individual strength is influenced by the leader 

How do we translate this into our everyday leadership? Training is the best place to start. It enhances the leader’s command and control, and develops discipline, fighting spirit and teamwork – all which the Army says make up spiritual strength.

A 2003 study by the Corporate Leadership Council reveals one more interesting fact about training:  more than 70% of employee commitment to a company is based on manager interaction.

When employees see their top leaders personally holding the chalk during training sessions, their respect for the leaders’ skills increases.

The Army report adds, “The capability of the commander exerts enormous influence on the quality of the spiritual factor of his unit.”

Are you training yourself with the wisdom of God, and in turn training your people? This is a building block of leadership, and a precursor to success.

-- This post is from chapter 4 of Leading from the Lions' Den: Leadership Principles from Every Book of the Bible (B&H, 2010)

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  • Robert Burns
    excellent and needed by all. Pastor Robert A. Burns
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Tom Harper
Tom Harper is president of Networld Media Group, a publisher of online trade journals and events for the banking, retail, restaurant and church leadership markets. He is the author of Leading from the Lions' Den: Leadership Principles from Every Book of the Bible (B&H).
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