“And Joseph was brought down to Egypt; and Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him of the hands of the Ishmeelites, which had brought him down thither.”
Just because someone obtains a leadership position doesn’t always mean that they know how to lead. Many people have held leadership positions who truly didn’t have any business being a leader because they didn’t know how to lead. Smart leadership is rare to come by, and if you find a leader who leads wisely, you have found someone whom God can bless.
Joseph was a smart leader, but even Potiphar seemed to have great leadership ability. He was the one who identified Joseph’s leadership ability and hired him to take care of his estate. In these two men, you will find several qualities of smart leadership. Let me show you some of these qualities so that you can apply them to your life in the areas where you lead.
First, smart leadership realizes it can’t do everything. Potiphar was smart enough to realize he had to let someone else handle some of the duties of his estate. One mistake many leaders make is that they try to do everything instead of letting others grow by giving them responsibility. You will keep those you lead from growing if you don’t learn to give them some of your responsibilities.
Second, smart leadership looks for producers and not maintainers. Potiphar noticed that Joseph was a producer, and that is what led Potiphar to promote Joseph. Maintainers are a waste of money because you don’t need people to maintain, you need them to produce. Producers always pay for themselves because of their ability to produce. Never allow the maintainers to have the highest paying jobs. If a person can’t produce, they should never be promoted.
Third, smart leadership looks for character and not talent. Potiphar noticed that God was with Joseph and that he was a man to be trusted. It was Joseph’s character that gave Potiphar the trust to leave everything under Joseph’s hand. Character can always learn talent, but talent rarely learns character. If you find a person of character, you would be wise to promote them even if they don’t know quite how to do something because their character will motivate them to learn how to do things properly.
Fourth, smart leadership looks for workers and not time-fillers. Time-fillers are time wasters; whereas, workers complete projects. Joseph was a man who when given a project would complete it. At the end of every day, a worker will be able to check off projects they’ve completed. People who fill time waste your money and hinder the ability to move forward. Look to promote those who work and complete projects; you will never regret that decision.
Fifth, smart leadership delegates responsibilities. Potiphar left all he had in Joseph’s hand. You will stagnate your growth if you can’t hand things to people and let them run it. You may not know everything that is going on, but you must be comfortable with the character of those to whom you delegated responsibilities. You will never reach God’s potential for your life if you can’t delegate. Leadership is never easy, but smart leadership allows the qualities mentioned above to guide them in leading, promoting and hiring.