Aaron COO: 4 Leadership Mistakes
Moses took over a failing corporation that had a brilliant founder, but was plagued by internal discord. After delivering some miraculous results that impacted the world, these people found themselves under dictatorial leadership. Moses comes in to lead them to the Promise Land but not without some resistance and lessons we can all learn from along the way.
What Went Wrong?
Before we look at what Moses did right let’s see what Aaron the COO did wrong. Moses was away at an executive retreat with his assistant, Joshua. Meanwhile Aaron is left to lead the organization, and we see he makes a few common mistakes right of the bat.
He didn’t honor up (Exodus 32:1)
When the people complained against Moses, Aaron didn’t step up to honor his leader with a defense. Instead of guarding Moses’s leadership, Aaron gave room for complaints and tried to be the solution to the void people saw in Moses’s leadership.
He didn’t practice sacrificial leadership (Exodus 32:2-3)
Aaron had the people bring their best to him instead of him giving them his best. Getting to the top is not about having the most people serving you. Filling a leadership role is about being in the best position to serve the most people. The top of the org chart is not for those who want to prop their feet up.
He put a spiritual skin on a selfish ambition (Exodus 32:4)
It is very easy in church environments to mistake grand plans for God’s plan. We must be careful to not call something God that didn’t originate with Him. We shouldn’t dress up a need to be noticed with a good cause. God’s plans always draw people closer to Him, before they lift up the false idols of success, competition, and popularity.
His was reactive instead of proactive (Exodus 32:5)
Aaron waited for the problem to occur, and then chose a solution that would be the most popular over the most effective. We must lead with foresight and learn from hindsight. Reactive leaders display passivity in moments of need, and prioritize stabilizing the boat instead of plugging the hole.
The result of Aaron’s leadership is that his team drifted off mission and began to crumble from the inside out (Exodus 32:7-8). He lost the leadership battle by allowing his position to become about him, and then protecting that position by pleasing people. Reactive leaders see pleasing people as the solution, while proactive leaders know protecting people is the priority. Reactive leaders don’t want to compromise their popularity, while proactive leaders don’t want to compromise the values that protect people and the vision that keeps the mission clear and secure.
This is part 1 of 2 of Moses CEO. Next up are the four things Moses did to turn this situation around. Be the first to get the latest post by subscribing here.
If you are interested in a great leadership fable that talks about pulling together as a team checkout The Five Dysfunctions of a Team.