Certain requirements are a necessity for anyone who wants to lead people successfully, and some of these can be found in the charge given to Joshua by God as he assumes the responsibility of leading the people of Israel into the land of Canaan after the death of Moses. While Moses led Israel out of Egypt, he wasn’t able to lead them into the land of Canaan; Joshua was given this responsibility and a charge to go with it.
The Bible records that God said to Joshua; “only be strong and very courageous that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses my servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth but you shall meditate in it day and night that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous and then you will have good success.”
The first requirement is strength; a leader must be strong especially mentally. The word strong means able to withstand force or pressure. A leader must be strong to lead because he is out in front and usually the target of opposition. He must be able to withstand whatever opposition may arise in the journey towards the fulfilment of the vision. If he is unable to withstand opposition and caves in under pressure, so will his followers.
The second requirement is courage; a leader must also be courageous. The word courageous means to be brave and undeterred by danger or pain. Interestingly, God did not just ask Joshua to be courageous, He asked him to be very courageous; without courage it is easy to quit when the battles of life get tough and a man or woman leading people cannot afford to quit, he must keep going despite the fierceness of the opposition. It takes courage to achieve this.
The third requirement is be a great follower; Joshua was asked to follow the instructions of Moses and not turn away from it. Every leader who will be great must be a great follower; Joshua was a great follower of Moses, he hearkened to the voice of Moses even after Moses died and so naturally the entire camp of the children of Israel hearkened to him.
The fourth requirement is speak from the book of the law. A law is simply a set of rules that guides a people and I have heard it said that where there is no law there is no sin, but also where there is no law anything goes and disorderliness will prevail. When the children of Israel left Egypt and journeyed towards Canaan, to ensure orderliness, God gave them a set of rules or the law also known as the Ten Commandments. When Joshua took over, God charged him saying the book of the law must not depart from his mouth, in other words he was to speak in line with the book of the law which was the constitution of the children of Israel. A leader must be careful what he says and ensure it is always in line with the constitution that guides the people he leads.
The fifth requirement is meditate on the law; no leader can speak the law he does not meditate on. To meditate simply means to think deeply about a thing. When a leader meditates on the law it fills his heart and two things happen; one, out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks and so when he opens his mouth the law flows out. Two, because it has filled his heart it shapes his values and ultimately his priorities and this is reflected in his ability to take right actions that benefit the people.
The sixth requirement is observe to do the law; a leader must without fail do as the law dictates for he is not above the law. A leader who does not do the law will give birth to followers who do not do the law because monkey see monkey do; followers do not do as their leaders say they do as their leaders do. Therefore, in an organisation or nation where the leader is corrupt the people will become corrupt because the people become like the leader. As such, a leader who wants to raise followers who are law abiding must first ensure that he is law abiding; it is not enough for him to teach the people the law he must do the law.
When a leader meets all of these requirements listed above then his success as a leader is guaranteed. If a leader is not successful, I daresay one or more of these requirements are missing.