One of my favorite Old Testament leaders is Nehemiah. He was a government worker in the employment of a foreign administration. A high ranking worker no doubt. A leader. A cupbearer to the King. Trusted and respected. Then he became a building contractor, called in to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.
Through the story of the Old Testament book, we can discover a few of the leadership qualities that he possessed.
1. Compassion- when learning of the condition of the wall and of his people, Nehemiah wept.
2. Conviction- he understood that loyalty to his country and to his people in Jerusalem was paramount. He was deeply bought in and moved to action.
3. Courage- he stood alongside the builders of the wall to fight off enemies who wanted to bring them down. A shovel in one hand and a spear in the other.
4. Confrontation- Nehemiah called out those who were stealing from their brothers, and doling out debt without reason. He held them accountable, and directed them towards living right. Those whom he loved and admired he pushed towards righteous living.
5. Calling- he understood his role as the one who had been called to lead in rebuilding the wall, and correctly responded to that assignment when God prompted.