Are 2 heads really better than 1?

When we get in trouble we usually start looking for a leader to rescue us.  This is true in most walks of life. When a business starts to get into the red they begin looking for a leader that can bring them back from the edge of bankruptcy.  When a nation is facing war or calamity they reach out to a leader who they believe is able to rescue them.   History is full of examples of leaders who rescued nations only to become a tyrant to the very people they rescued. It’s just part of human nature – when facing a crisis, we look for someone who can lead us out of troubled waters. When facing a crisis, we often look to a singular person to save us from our problems. I refer to this phenomenon as the singular savior leader.

You probably heard the quote “two heads are better than one”. This statement generally means more opinions equal better opinions.  Does this maxim really apply to leadership?  Today I want us to examine popular perception of the singular savior leader.

The gift of power

Leadership is a gift from God.   When having a discussion about leadership Jesus made the statement that all authority, all power ultimately comes from God (John 19:11).    God gives people a little bit of power over others. This power naturally makes someone a leader. Therefore, all leadership authority ultimately rests with God.  Since all leadership rests with God, the position of leadership is not only a gift from God to the person who is leading, it is also a gift from God to the people they are leading.

God blesses people with good leaders

One of God’s blessings is to give people good leaders. Leaders make life better for everyone.  When you have a good leader, your life is easier. When someone is a terrible leader, everybody’s life is miserable.  Let me define what I mean by the phrase good leader. A good leader is a person with a good heart, someone who genuinely loves Jesus and loves the people they lead.  A good leader is also someone who knows their job well. You have to have talent if you’re going to be able to lead people well.  Since all leaders are in the people business, ultimately a talented leader must be able to deal with others well.  Talent and a bad heart doesn’t make you a good leader. God knows we’ve had a lot of talented people with bad intentions. Good leaders have good hearts and good people skills.

A team approach to leadership

Ancient Israel was led by a team of talented leaders (Micah 6:4).  We only refer to Moses when we talk about leading the people of Israel out of bondage in Egypt. However, the Bible makes it clear that Aaron and Miriam played a leadership role as well (Exodus 15:20).    Although Moses was the lead prophet in Israel, Miriam also served as a prophetess. Aaron also played a key role as the high priest of Israel.

Moses’s team approach to leadership didn’t stop there, he also shared some of his responsibility with talented men (Exodus 18:25).   This team approach to leadership made Moses’s life easier. This team approach to leadership made life better for all the people of Israel.  By the way, no one man can do it all. This was the very thing that caused Moses to look for other competent people with which to share the leadership load.

This team approach to leadership really challenges the idea of the singular savior leader. Next time you’re in trouble, instead of looking for one person to lead you to safety, maybe you need to listen to a multitude of voices. The next time the people that you love are in trouble maybe you should consider joining forces with other good leaders to make everyone’s life better.

Further reading