The book of Joshua begins with the preparation of Joshua and the people of Israel for
invasion of Jericho under the Lord’s presence and leadership. First, Joshua ordered the
people who were to cross the Jordan to Jericho to prepare themselves. Then, he placed
them under strict orders of obedience to his authority (1:10-18). Next, he sent out two spies
to Jericho to retrieve information about the enemy. The spies went to the house of a
prostitue name Rahab, as a cover for their actions. This plan did not work because the king
of Jericho sent men to Rahab’s house to try to find them. She had hidden the well, however,
and was able to convince the king’s men that they weren’t in her house. Since Rahab’s
home was on the wall of the city, she was able to let them down by a rope on the outside of
the wall. Returning to Joshua, they gave their report (2:1-24).
There followed another one of the events that Israel saw as a “wonder” of God. The
river banks of Jordan were undercut in such a way, that they formed a natural dam that
holds the river in check for extended periods of time. According to the passage 3:14-16, the
waters were flooded when this was necessary, and the people boarded the ark of the
covenant and passed easily over opposite Jericho. The ark of the covenant, symbol of the
Lord’s presence with the Israelites, was carried to the midst of the riverbed to remind them
that it was the Lord’s workings that enabled them to cross the flooded river (3:17). A pile
of stones was resurrected as a memorial to the event. The stones were to serve as a teaching
aid for the elders. When asked by children of future generations what the stones meant, the
elders would tell them of God’s deliverance of the people (4:1- 5:1).
After crossing the Jordan, all the men and boys underwent circumcision as an act of
consecration to the Lord (5:2-12). When they had recovered, preparations got under way
for the attack on Jerricho. In a vision, Joshua saw the leader of the Lord’s army. The
purpose of this seems to have been to assure Joshua of divine leadership in the days ahead
The numbers here are significant other than for their numerical value. Seven symbolized
completion, ten perfection, and 12 completeness (6:12-16). Joshua was given orders to
carry the arc of the covenant up to Jericho with seven priests carrying seven ram’s horns.
Armed troops were to march ahead of the priests blowing horns also. However no one was
to give the battle cry until Joshua gave the signal. They marched around the walls of Jericho
once in this fashion, and then retired to camp. This was done six days in a row, and then on
the seventh day they marched around the walls seven times before Joshua gave the signal,
and the people yelled a battle cry. The walls crumbled, and the soldiers flooded into the
city. Everything was to be destroyed as an act of dedication to God. Only the prostitue
Rahab, who had helped the spies, was to be spared (6:17-25). Finally, when the city was
conquered, a curses was pronounced upon it to prevent its rebuilding (6:26-27).
As harsh as the requirements of the holy war might seem, an incident involving an
Israelite named Achan would make it seem even more harsh. Strict regulations governed
the disposal of the goods that were captured in the holy war. A violation on the ban of
taking any spoils of war for personal use was punishable by death. In the battle for Ai, the
Israelites were driven back. Unknown to Joshua, Achan had taken certain banned items at
Jericho (7:1). Undoubtedly, word passed that Achan had taken the goods. Such knowledge
would have had a divisive effect on the army if it were known, since others probably had
been tempted to take the spoils of war but had resisted temptation. In any case, when the
battle for Ai was begun, Israel suffered a stinging defeat (7:2-5).
Joshua was perplexed, feeling that the Lord had let him down (7:6-9). But Joshua
was made to realize that such was not the case. Instead, the word came from God that
someone had violated the ban against taking spoils of war (7:10-15). An investigation
revealed Achan as the culprit and, in due course, he confessed his sin (7:16-26).
What follows next, describes the horrible punishment that Achan received. “Joshua
and all of Israel took Achan…and all Israel stoned him with stones; they burned them with
fire, and stoned them with stones (7:24-25). Not only was Achan punished, but also his
family. The destruction of Achan, his family, and all his possessions was looked upon as
the only way to clear the people as a whole of Achan’s sin. When the punishment was
carried out, the battle was renewed and was won (8:1-29). There follows an account of
building an altar on Mount Ebal in the Shechem area.
Gibeonites, having heard of the conquest of nearby towns by the Israelites, decided
that they would rather not have to face such a fate. They put on their most ragged clothes
-out sandals, took stale bread and wineskins that were brittle with age, and set out
for the Israelite camp. When they arrived, they told the Israelite leaders a tale they had
heard about the Israelites greatness and that of their God (9:3- 10). They then claimed that
they were looking for these people to make a covenant with them.
The Israelites were taken aback by the story and immediately made a covenant with
the Gibeonites. Under the term of the covenant, the Gibeonites were to be spared and thus
would become a part of Israel (9: 11-15). After, the covenant was made, the truth was
discovered. However, the covenant could not be broken, but the Gibeonites were made
“hewers of wood and drawers of water for the congregation” (9: 27).
Next, the book of Joshua discuss the joining of forces between the kings of
Jerusalem, Hebron, Eglon, Lachish, and Jarmuth in alarmed response to the success of the
Israelties. The battle took place in the valley of Aijalon. The attack was aided by a violent
hailstorm. The great hailstones killed many of the enemy and cause the Israelite minstrels to
sing a song about the sun standing still at Gibeon (10:15- 27).
The kings were captured, and a symbolic ceremony was conducted in which the
Israelite leaders placed their feet on the kings’ necks. As they did, Joshua charged them to
be strong. He promised that the Lord would lead them to be just as successful against all
Israel’s enemies if they remained faithful to him (10:15- 27).
The next chapters of Joshua discusses the success in battle of Joshua and the
Israelites. It was a war of extermination with the Lord’s assistance. For, “they should be
utterly destroyed, and should receive no mercy, but to be exterminated..”(11:20).
The next chapters describe the succession over the surrounding cities and how the
land is to be distributed amongst the tribes. They are to be thankful for their good fortune
and not take any other man’s. Of special interest are the cities assigned to the Levites (21:1-
42). They were to recieve cities within each of the territories, centrally located to provide
accessible worship centers and also to include refuge centers where an accused criminal
could be held to his case was resolved. Otherwise, the criminal would be at the mercy of the
“avenger of blood” who was a member of the family of the criminal’s victim. The avenger
felt a moral obligation to punish the criminal since there was no state to carry out
An insight on how the Israelites dealt with disagreement among the tribes can be seen
in the story of the building of an altar by the tribes east of Jordan. Upon, receiving word of
this, the tribes in the west became concerned. Such an altar would seem to violate a ban on
worshipping anywhere except at one central shrine (22:12). in a tribal assembly it was
decided to send the priest Phinehas, accompanied by ten tribal representatives, to
investigate the situation. They were tools that the shrine was “a witness between us and
you…that we do perform the service of the Lord in his presence with our burnt offerings
and sacrifices”(22:27). Satisfied about the purpose of the altar, the tribal representatives
returned and the planned attack was averted ( 22:30- 34).
A recognition that Joshua’s conquest was not complete appears in Joshua’s farewell
address to the Israelite leaders. God had given them the land from the Jordan to the “Great
seas to the west”, and he would enable them to conquer the people who still occupied the
land provided Israel was faithful to the law as given to Moses (23:1- 13).
The climax of the book of Joshua is the covenant-renewal ceremony described in
Joshua 24:1-28. The site of the ceremony was Schechum. An altar was built, sacrifices were
offered, a copy of the law was written and read to the people, and a ceremony of blessing
and cursing was carried out, half of the Levites standing on Mount Gerizam and the other
half standing on Mount Ebal (8:33).
The important men of Israel gathered at the sanctuary (24:1). Joshua recounted God’s
call of the patriarchs- how he brought the people out of Egypt through the leadership of
Moses and Aaron and how he brought them into the land of Canaan (24:2- 13). After
reminding them of the Lord’s blessing, he called on them to accept the obligations of the
covenant. Joshua 24:14 indicates that not all of the people present were descendants of
those who came from Egypt, for he spoke of those who were worshipping “the gods which
your fathers served…beyond the river or the gods of the Amorites in whose lands you
dwell.” Furthermore, the Gibeonites were non-Israelite people who had earlier tricked Israel
into making the covenant with them (9:1- 27).
The purpose of the book of Joshua seems to be the glorifying of the Lord by giving
examples of the marvelous way he led the people to the patriarchs promised land. Further, the
book says that any failure was a failure on the part of Israel to walk in the faith with God.
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Comparison between Moses and Joshua leadership0 characteristic their strength
Moses ' leadership is seen in his commitment to lead the Israelite by continuously approaching pharaoh for their release (Ex 4 :29-31. Joshua on the other hand took the role of leading the Israelites to the Promised Land despite different opinions and challenges (Joshua 6 :1-27 Both Moses and Joshua were very courageous and strong in their leadership. This comes out during the crossing of red sea and taking over of Joshua
from Moses (Joshua 1 :6-9 .Moses resisted any attempts of wrong doing by the Israelite i .e. worshiping of the golden calf just like Joshua who resisted the opinion of changing the of worship (Boadt. 288
Moses was a team player as he took and inspired others while in the desert (19 :1-16 ) in comparison to Joshua who assembled the Israelite whenever God had a message for them (Joshua 3 :1-15. Both the leaders were firm on their word of God and this is demonstrated when Moses was commanded to observe the Sabbath (35 :1-5 ) just like Joshua 's covenant renewal at mount Ebla as instructed in the law of Moses (8 :30-32. Both the leaders handed over leadership when they realized their days were minimal. this they did in openness. This shows good service and servant leadership (Joshua 1 :1-10 ( joshua23 :1-16
Despite this good leadership quality Moses was quick to anger. this is demonstrated in his killing of.
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Joshua God’s Warrior Essay, Research Paper
Joshua s personal history prepared him well as a leader for the great conquest. The conquest of Caanan began about 1405 B.C. Joshua s leadership of Israel covered about twenty-five years. Living near the end of Israel s oppression in Egypt, Joshua witnessed God s dreadful ten plague judgments, the first Passover, the miraculous Red Sea crossing, and the supernatural signs and judgments during Israel s wilderness journeys. Joshua served Moses as military leader in many battles of war, and he alone accompanied Moses up to Mt. Sinai when God gave Israel the Ten Commandments. As Moses assistant, Joshua demonstrated an intense devotion and heart for God by often tarrying long in the presence of God. Joshua was a mighty warrior who trusted God with all of his heart and soul. He had an earnest faith and trust in the great God Jehovah. He was a man who treasured the presence of God. Joshua learned much from Moses, his trusted counselor and guide, about the ways of God and the difficulties of leading His people to the promised land. At Kadesh-barnea, Joshua served Moses as one of the twelve spies that scouted the land of Caanan. Along with Caleb, Joshua gave to the people an encouraging report of victory. Under the direction of God, Joshua sent spies into Jericho, crossed the Jordan, fortified a camp at Gilgal, and kept the Passover. Many years before being chosen to replace Moses as Israel s leader, Joshua demonstrated himself to be a man of faith, vision, courage, loyalty, obedience, prayer, and dedication to God and his holy Word. Joshua was God s choice for completing Moses work. His task was to establish Israel as the covenant people in the land of promise. In his roll of leading Israel into the promised land, Joshua was an Old Testament type or foreshadowing of Christ, whose roll was to bring God s people into the promised land and victories over their enemies.
In a closing assembly of the Israelites at Shechem, Joshua delivered to the people his final address just as Moses had done before his death. He reminded them of their own wonderful history, of the many miracles God had done for them, and of the precious promises of God. Joshua highly exhorted them all to be faithful and obedient in the service of the Lord God Almighty. His work being done, Joshua died at the age of one hundred-ten years old. In my opinion, this great military commander died in the highest of honor. After his death, Joshua was buried in his own city of Timmath-serah. This was located in the hill country of Ephraim. Joshua stood as one of the greatest examples in the Old Testament history.
Looking at the background of the life of Joshua, it is recorded that he was the son of Nun, born a slave of Egypt, and was selected as a representative of the tribe of Ephraim. The name Joshua means the Lord saves (or the Lord is salvation ). In the Greek language, this name means Jesus. Moses changed his name from Oshea to Joshua: Jehovah is help. Joshua s name was the key to his life and his work as a soldier for God. Alike in bringing the Israelites into Caanan, in his wars and battles, in the distribution of the land among the tribes, from the miraculous crossing of Jordan and the taking of Jericho, to his last address, Joshua well lived the meaning of his new name, Jehovah is help. To this outward calling, his character also lived up to that name. It was marked by his purpose, direction, and decision. He set goals before him, and never wavered in meeting them. Joshua s experiences teach us as believers that we are not alone in our struggles in our Christian walk. The Bible states that I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me. Philippians 4:13. Christ has given us the power and strength, just like Joshua, to overcome every obstacle that we are faced with in this life. When the storms of life come against us, we must remember that our utmost faith and trust must be in the God we serve. Joshua was a conqueror and an overcomer! God has given that same power within us as he put within Joshua. It is just up to you and I to put it into action.
Joshua has always been a Biblical character that has stood out with me. I often remember as a small boy in Sunday School the mighty stories of Joshua and the children of Israel. Now as a young man, searching the scriptures of God s Word, I have found even more how the character and lifestyle of Joshua plays an important roll in my life.
Joshua was one of the greatest leaders of his time. I have found that people of all kinds are motivated by great leaders. From great Presidents and military leaders to great anointed men of God, people greatly admire such leaders, and in most cases follow that which they stand for. The very reason that Joshua was such a great and tremendous leader in the army of God was the fact that he was a follower! He followed in the footsteps of his captain Moses, and also in the footsteps of his Lord. We, as born-again Christians can be greatly admired leaders and examples simply by being followers of our Lord Jesus Christ. In the writings of Paul we find where he tells us to Follow me as I follow Christ. What a testimony these great men of God portray! In order for us to be leaders to a lost and dying world, we must be followers of a risen Savior. Joshua followed God with his whole heart, soul and mind. We must do the same. He was not one to seek his own well being, comfort, or ease. Joshua constantly lived to fulfill the perfect will of God. He never trusted in his on strength and power. Joshua continually leaned on the mighty arm of God. The Bible tells us to cast our cares upon Him, for he careth for us. If we could only learn to put our trust and faith in God. In the midst of difficult situations and trials, Joshua never once doubted the God that he served. He always stood strong in faith, totally believing the promises of God. When he and Caleb came back from spying out the land, they were the only two men with a good report. They had nothing negative to say. They were ready to go forth and conquer the land. Even when the circumstances around them looked like defeat, they spoke of victory. Their faith was in God! Their foundation was on the Rock of Ages! When tests and trials come our way, we should never look at the circumstances. We should just put our faith and trust in the one who can change that situation.
It is evident that Joshua, the mighty warrior of God Jehovah, was ready to risk his very life to carry out the perfect will of God. I have found myself many times as a young Christian wanting to follow my own will. In trials and storms of life, I just simply wanted to do my own thing. Within myself, I knew that I wasn t doing what God had wanted me to do. The end result was that I was always in more trouble, not only with my parents, but with God, than when I first started out. In studying the character of Joshua, I found that his main priority was that he followed in the path of obedience to God. He did according to all that was written in the Book of the Law. Many times Joshua found that his obedience to God brought many difficulties and enemies his way. Sometimes God s way is not popular with the crowd. For a young person, it is sometimes hard to say no to peer pressure. Sometimes it is difficult to understand the ways of the Lord, for they are not like our ways. I have always found this one thing to be true, that if I follow the Lord with my whole heart and soul, He will never lead me astray. I have learned like Joshua, to put my life in God s hands and he will guide me through every storm of life that comes my way. I do know this one thing, Joshua never gave in to his own will, nor to the will of others around him. In great courage and perseverance, he faced each battle of war in the strength and obedience of God. We, as Christian soldiers in God s army should do the same. This obedience wrought Joshua many victories. This same obedience, being performed in our lives, will also bring us many victories. Just as Joshua was that great leader, example, and guide for the Israelites, we can bear that same testimony to other believers as well as the lost.
Joshua was like one of those old knights who slept in their armor. He was always fighting. We are in a continual warfare with the enemy till the end. It is not the person who starts this race, but it is he that finishes that will inherit eternal life. We must be determined to hold out until the end. As soldiers of the cross, we must put on the whole armor of God. We are in a warfare, no days off, no weekends off, and no vacations! While in battle, soldiers never take their armor off. They sleep in it. They eat in it. It is worn all the time. Only a foolish man would go into battle without it. We must gird ourselves like Joshua did. As Christians, we must always be on guard for the enemy, and stay prepared for the battles ahead. Not once did Joshua lay his armor down. He was on the battlefield for the Lord. God wants us to be brave soldiers just like Joshua. We must use our spiritual weapons to endure hardships as a good soldier. God has provided us with everything we need to defeat the enemy. It is up to us to take a stand, then go forth and conquer. God will honor men who honor Him. He is searching for men and women, boys and girls, who will take him at his word, step out in faith, and do great works.
At the end of his life, Joshua called all the people together one final time to lead them in a covenant renewal in which they committed themselves to serve the Lord in faithfulness and loyalty. Joshua knew in his heart that there were some in the assembly who were secretly worshipping idols and other gods. Joshua could not endure double-dealing, so he pushed the people to a decision. He urged them to serve the Lord with sincerity. He gave them a choice between the true God and their idols. To compel the people to make a decision, Joshua declared his own. And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15. Joshua had always been a man of a firm step and a determined mind. He held his testimony boldly. He was strong and of good courage, and the Lord was with him. This was his final exhortation for the people to love the Lord, serve Him only, and remain separated from the world and idols. Each believer must choose whom he or she will serve. As with Joshua and the Israelites, serving the Lord is an individual choice. It is a choice that every human being must make at one time or another. I believe it is the most important decision in a person s life. Just like Joshua, we should be men and women of great faith and courage and choose the path that leads to Heaven. As for me and my house, we are going to serve the Lord!
Below is an essay on "Leadership Qualities in Joshua" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.
NAME: JOY NDANU KAKELO
STUDENT NO: 12SO3ECPS007
UNIT: OLD TESTAMENT UCC 105
LECTURER: SIMEON KAMUNZU
DATE: 24TH September 2012
Joshua was a man of great character. He was obedient, faithful and his dependence on God made Joshua one of Israel’s strongest leaders. He provides a bold example for us to follow. He was faced with challenges but he chose to follow God, and he did it faithfully. Joshua took the Ten Commandments seriously and ordered the people of Israel to follow them as well. Joshua was also very loyal. Joshua was completely loyal to his leader. Moses had been up on the mount to get the tables of stone and the law. While he was gone, Aaron was in charge. Aaron had led the people to build a golden calf. Moses came back, and the people were naked; they were dancing, making merry, and in general, playing havoc with God’s will and purpose. It was Joshua who was with Moses even now, and it was Joshua who heard the noise of the people as they shouted. Though Aaron was disloyal when Moses was away, Joshua’s loyalty never wavered. Joshua was also very optimistic. When the twelve spies went into the Promised Land to spy it out, only two said that they could go in. Joshua was one of these; Caleb was the other. In other words, he said, “We can do it!” He had faith in what God could do. Joshua was truly humble. Before the death of Moses, again and again Moses would say to the people, “Encourage Joshua.” This meant that Joshua needed the people. He never rose above the people in his need for them.
Five Leadership qualities in Joshua
Joshua was humble and willing to serve. He served under Moses for forty years in the wilderness and was known as Moses “assistant” as seen in Joshua 1:1. Great leaders are humble and do not have a problem serving others even when they are working under someone. We see in Joshua 5:13-15 that he was humble when the commander of the Lords army told him to take off his shoes as this shows that.
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The Book Of Joshua
The Book of Joshua - BibleAfter Yehoshua successfully conquered Canaan he turned control of B nai Yisroel over to a series of Judges. These judges operated one after another, in.
The book of Joshua begins with the preparation of Joshua and the people of Israel for invasion of Jericho under the Lord’s presence and leadership. First, Joshua ordered the people who were to cross the Jordan to Jericho to prepare themselves. Then, he placed them under strict orders of obedience to his authority (1:10-18). Next, he sent out two spies to Jericho to retrieve information about the enemy. The spies went to the house of a prostitue name Rahab, as
The Book of Joshua & Ruth
The Book of Joshua Chapter 1 The book begins with the history, not of Joshua’s life (many remarkable passages of that we had before in the books of.
a cover for their actions. This plan did not work because the king of Jericho sent men to Rahab’s house to try to find them. She had hidden the well, however, and was able to convince the king’s men that they weren’t in her house. Since Rahab’s home was on the wall of the city, she was able to let them down by a rope on the outside of the wall. Returning to Joshua, they gave their report (2:1-24). There
Joshua And The Children
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followed another one of the events that Israel saw as a “wonder” ;of God. The river banks of Jordan were undercut in such a way, that they formed a natural dam that holds the river in check for extended periods of time. According to the passage 3:14-16, the waters were flooded when this was necessary, and the people boarded the ark of the covenant and passed easily over opposite Jericho. The ark of the covenant, symbol of the Lord’s presence
Archetypal Criticism: Joshua In the many stories of the Bible, one of the most acclaimed heroes is Joshua. To most he is known for his heroic actions at the.
with the Israelites, was carried to the midst of the riverbed to remind them that it was the Lord’s workings that enabled them to cross the flooded river (3:17). A pile of stones was resurrected as a memorial to the event. The stones were to serve as a teaching aid for the elders. When asked by children of future generations what the stones meant, the elders would tell them of God’s deliverance of the people (4:1- 5:1). After crossing
The Nation of Germany should be assessed damages and reparations made to survivors and or their heirs for the Nazi crimes which included, property theft, wrongful injury and wrongful death.
the Jordan, all the men and boys underwent circumcision as an act of consecration to the Lord (5:2-12). When they had recovered, preparations got under way for the attack on Jerricho. In a vision, Joshua saw the leader of the Lord’s army. The purpose of this seems to have been to assure Joshua of divine leadership in the days ahead (5:13-15). The numbers here are significant other than for their numerical value. Seven symbolized completion, ten perfection, and 12 completeness
There is an old saying that a picture says a thousand words. Art Spiegelman’s series Maus: A Survivors Tale proves this saying to a tee. Added to the.
(6:12-16). Joshua was given orders to carry the arc of the covenant up to Jericho with seven priests carrying seven ram’s horns. Armed troops were to march ahead of the priests blowing horns also. However no one was to give the battle cry until Joshua gave the signal. They marched around the walls of Jericho once in this fashion, and then retired to camp. This was done six days in a row, and then on the seventh day they marched
There is an old saying that a picture says a thousand words. Art Spiegelman’s series Maus: A Survivors Tale proves this saying to a tee. Added to the dialogue, a.
around the walls seven times before Joshua gave the signal, and the people yelled a battle cry. The walls crumbled, and the soldiers flooded into the city. Everything was to be destroyed as an act of dedication to God. Only the prostitue Rahab, who had helped the spies, was to be spared (6:17-25). Finally, when the city was conquered, a curses was pronounced upon it to prevent its rebuilding (6:26-27). As harsh as the requirements of the holy war might
Survivors Tale And Spiegelman
There is an old saying that a picture says a thousand words. Art Spiegelman’s series Maus: A Survivors Tale proves this saying to a tee. Added to the dialogue, a.
seem, an incident involving an Israelite named Achan would make it seem even more harsh. Strict regulations governed the disposal of the goods that were captured in the holy war. A violation on the ban of taking any spoils of war for personal use was punishable by death. In the battle for Ai, the Israelites were driven back. Unknown to Joshua, Achan had taken certain banned items at Jericho (7:1). Undoubtedly, word passed that Achan had taken the goods. Such
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knowledge would have had a divisive effect on the army if it were known, since others probably had been tempted to take the spoils of war but had resisted temptation. In any case, when the battle for Ai was begun, Israel suffered a stinging defeat (7:2-5). Joshua was perplexed, feeling that the Lord had let him down (7:6-9). But Joshua was made to realize that such was not the case. Instead, the word came from God that someone had violated
Joshua God's Warrior
Joshua s personal history prepared him well as a leader for the great conquest. The conquest of Caanan began about 1405 B.C. Joshua s leadership of Israel covered.
the ban against taking spoils of war (7:10-15). An investigation revealed Achan as the culprit and, in due course, he confessed his sin (7:16-26). What follows next, describes the horrible punishment that Achan received. “Joshua and all of Israel took Achan. and all Israel stoned him with stones ;they burned them with fire, and stoned them with stones (7:24-25). Not only was Achan punished, but also his family. The destruction of Achan, his family, and all his possessions was looked upon
Joshua (The Novel)
Herm s question, Josh, what do you think of Religion? becomes the beginning of a period of both joy and conflict for Joshua as he is then often.
as the only way to clear the people as a whole of Achan’s sin. When the punishment was carried out, the battle was renewed and was won (8:1-29). There follows an account of building an altar on Mount Ebal in the Shechem area. Gibeonites, having heard of the conquest of nearby towns by the Israelites, decided that they would rather not have to face such a fate. They put on
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Good Leadership Characteristics
What does it take to be a good leader for your men? In the book Beowulf by anonymous, Beowulf shows what it takes to be a good leader. Beowulf is a good leader because he is courageous, brave and has no fear at all.
Beowulf is considered a good leader because he is courageous. When Beowulf says “Better it is for each one of us that we should avenge his friend, then greatly mourn it” (anonymous line 1384-1385) it shows Beowulf’s courage. This shows that he rather fight and avenge his friends death than mourn and do nothing about it. This quote was put in to show the characteristics of Beowulf. Beowulf shows his courage when he says “A warrior will sooner die than live a life of shame”(lines 2890-2891). He is willing to do whatever to live a courageous life than to do nothing and die shameless. This quote shows that a warrior who is courageous won’t die in shame. You can clearly see Beowulf’s great courage when he says” often, for undaunted courage, fate spares the man it has not already marked” (lines 572-573). A mans life is saved by his courage. This shows that Beowulf had been saved by his great courage. This shows that Beowulf had been spared many times by his courageous actions. Beowulf’s courageousness shows the type of character he had.
Beowulf is never in a situation which he is scared because he is brave. Beowulf begins to show us his bravery when he says “Fate saves the living when they drive away death by themselves” (lines 573-574). Beowulf is very brave because his courage has saved him many times from dying. The quote shows that whatever is trying to kill him is actually scared of him. Beowulf is not intimidated but he is brave when he says “Grendel is no braver, no stronger than I am! I could kill him with my sword; I shall not, easy as it would be. This friend is a bold and famous fight, but his claws and teeth… beating at my sword blade, would be helpless. I will meet him with my hands empty—unless.
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Published: 23, March 2015Introduction
Leaders have an important role within an organisation related to its success, productivity and the performance of the employees. The ‘fundamental task of a leader is to build and maintain a high performing team’ (Furnham, 2005, p.566). However, Yukl (2013, p.18) argues that there are numerous and diverse definitions concerning the concept of a leader as well as the term leadership, although a general consensus appears to suggest it involves a process of influencing and guiding relationships within an organisation. Guirdham (2002, p.15) emphasises the importance of leaders having good interpersonal and communication skills, which as Yukl suggest involves the ability to persuade others. Yukl (2013, p.18) further states there are additional factors that contribute to good leadership such as the situational context and the use of power. Another issue regarding the characteristics of leaders is that many theories and models have been based on Western perspectives (House and Aditya, 1997, p.409) and typically based on research with white males (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, CIPD, 2008, p.7). There is some cultural crossover in servant leadership, which according to Northouse (2013, p.219), was originally proposed by Greenleaf in the 1970s, and also has origins in ancient Eastern and Western philosophies; for example, it is deeply embedded in Arab-Islamic culture (Sarayrah, 2004, p.59). A further concern is raised by Mullins (2008, p.265) who states that determining who is a ‘good leader’ is a subjective judgement and cannot be based, for example, on financial performance alone. The aim of the following essay is to investigate whether certain characteristics are related to good leadership and which can be identified in theories and models of leadership such as trait theory, transformational and charismatic leadership as well as authentic and servant leadership. Finally, there will be a brief discussion regarding interpersonal characteristics such as emotional intelligence and communication skills.
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Essay Writing ServiceTheories and Models of Leadership Trait Theories
Trait theories of leadership proposed that successful leaders possessed distinctive traits or characteristics that differentiated them from unsuccessful leaders and subordinates. As Northouse (2013, p.7) mentions there are common phrases in use in society such as ‘ he was born to be a leader’ or ‘she is a natural leader’ which suggest that people tend to think good leaders are born and not trained. The concept of leaders having certain characteristics dominated research prior to the Second World War. It was thought that individuals could be selected for leadership positions if they showed the appropriate characteristics or alternatively that traits could be taught to leaders (Furnham, 2005, p.571). Popular books, such as Stephen Covey’s book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, propose that certain traits or characteristics can be learned. Covey (2004, p.46) states that ‘our character, basically, is a composite of our habits.’ Covey continues saying that habits are consistent, can be learned or unlearned and express an individual’s character and how effective or ineffective they are (Covey, 2004, p.46). Covey suggests that effective people are proactive, have a clarity regarding their life-goals, manage themselves, value and respect other people, are empathic and encourage positive teamwork (Covey, 2004, p.65). The seventh habit involves taking time to ‘sharpen the saw’ which Covey translates as meaning time to refresh physical, spiritual, psychological and socio-emotional dimensions of a person’s character (Covey, 2004, pp.287-288).
A number of characteristics and traits related to good leaders have been identified; for example, Smith and Foti (1998, p.147) undertook a study investigating the characteristics of emergent leaders and found that the traits of dominance, intelligence and self-efficacy were significantly higher in emergent leaders than other individuals who were not classified as emergent leaders. According to Furnham (2005, p.572), good leaders usually possess characteristics such as persistence, innovation and a willingness to take responsibility for their actions. Yukl (2013, p.146) similarly identifies certain characteristics related to good leaders which include a high tolerance of stress, emotional maturity, personal integrity, motivation and self-confidence. However, Furnham (2005, p.574) suggests that although there are numerous traits, there appears to be little agreement regarding which characteristics contribute to a leader being effective.
According to Zaccaro, (2007, p.6) trait theories are not able to explain how leaders’ characteristics adapt to different situations and contexts and thus a major criticism of trait theories is that they do not consider the wider context of culture, society or the interactions with the characteristics of subordinates (Zaccaro, 2007, p.7). Examining the characteristics of good leaders implies that leaders innately possess certain personality traits although it could be suggested that some good leaders can learn through experience (Bryman, Collinson, Grint, Jackson and Uhl-Bien, 2011, p.78). The notion that good leaders can learn skills through a dynamic learning experience is supported by other researchers; for example, Rodd (2006, p.13) proposes that practitioners within the Early Years profession can become leaders through ‘demonstrating increasing competence’ and by developing the personal skills necessary to become a leader. Daly and Byers (2004, p.7) suggest that good leaders will also ensure that employees have the opportunity for training and professional development which in turn may help them to become good leaders. Kolb (1984, p.25) similarly supports the idea of learning leadership skills through experience and suggests that learning involves a constant change of ideas, perspectives and opinions which are not fixed and thoughts are ‘formed and reformed through experience’ and ‘continually modified by experience’. The importance of having a flexible approach is emphasised by Daly and Byers (2004, p.187) ensuring that the leader is adaptable and can implement new ideas or procedures when necessary. Even early theorists such as Taylor (1911, p.7) argued that good leaders are not born and required systematic training instead of being reliant on ‘some unusual or extraordinary man’.
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It is further argued by Zaccaro (2007, p.10) that because being a good leader is complex there is probably an interaction of the leader’s characteristics as well as an interaction with the variables present in different situations and contexts. Theories such as Fiedler’s contingency theory (Fiedler 1967, cited in Northouse, 2013, pp.123-125) were developed primarily with leaders in the military and focused on how compatible the characteristics and style of the leader were with a specific situation. Thus, ‘effective leadership is contingent on matching a leader’s style to the right setting (Northouse, 2013, p.123). A problem with both trait theories and contingency theories is that they appear to focus on the characteristics of the leader and do not consider the characteristics of, the interactions with, or the role of, subordinates. Contingency theory does not explain why some leaders are better in certain situations than other leaders and also how organisations deal with a mismatch between leaders and certain situations (Northouse, 2013, p.129).Transactional and Transformational Leaders
Furnham (2005, p.588) suggests that transactional leadership can be defined as a contract between the leader and a worker where the leader achieves what they want by offering some sort of reward which is desired by the employee. There is typically a limited relationship between the leader as in certain situations (for example in the military) transactional leadership is necessary as certain actions need to be undertaken without subordinates questioning or debating issues (Bass and Bass, 2008, p.41; Bryman et al. 2011, p.55). Transactional leadership does not appear to be concerned with the characteristics of leaders and is more concerned with creating structures and systems which allow the sharing of information (Bryman et al. 2011, p.61). Transactional leadership depends on contingency reinforcement which means the subordinate understands that a reward will be received when performance goals are achieved (Bass and Riggio, 2006, p.8).
Transformational leadership developed from the foundations of transactional leadership with four further characteristics namely; charisma and idealised influence which indicates that the leader is admired, respected, and trusted; inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation, and consideration towards individual workers (Bass, Avolio, Jung and Berson, 2003, p.208; McKenna, 2005, p.411). By showing an interest in the personal development of followers there can be a subsequent increase in performance and productivity as well as creativity and innovation subordinates can often be creative which can then have an impact on the competitive advantage of the company (Bass, et al 2003,p.208). Bass and Bass (2006, p.41) also suggest that transformational leaders usually believe and support the goals of the organisation and are able to articulate the goals to subordinates and engage their support and commitment. Other characteristics identified in transformational leaders is that they show consistent behaviour and tend to have a strong focus on integrity, ethical principles and values together with being flexible and able to adapt to change (Judge and Piccolo, 2004, p.755). McKenna (2005, p.408) states that transformational leaders have characteristics such as vision and are able to motivate and inspire subordinates to share their vision. As Sir John Harvey-Jones, MBE, who was the chairman of Imperial Chemical Industries from 1982 to 1987 and has recently helped failing business shown in a BBC television programme called Troubleshooter states:-
‘ The vision is absolutely key to getting your troops together. It has to be qualitative, daring and grab the imagination. The test of it should be how quickly people will latch on to where you are going……’ (cited in Mullins, 2008, p.261).
The characteristics of transformational leaders are important in an organisation because they are viewed as a more effective leadership style than transactional leadership for example. Bass and Riggio (2008, p.10) suggest that many subordinates are very loyal to transformational leaders and are committed to the organisation so productivity increases and improves which Bass and Riggio (2008, p.10) suggest is one way of demonstrating the efficiency of the leader. The characteristics of transactional and transformational leaders are not mutually exclusive and there may be occasions when a leader has to show transactional characteristics as well as transformational characteristics. An example is cited by Bass and Bass (2008, p.51) which states that famous leaders such as John F. Kennedy and Abraham Lincoln displayed characteristics of both transactional and transformational leaders. Transactional leadership, for example, has been found to be more effective in a well-ordered, stable environment whereas transformational leadership is suitable in organisations that are changing rapidly such as in times of financial upheaval (McKenna, 2006, p.418).
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Examples of our workCharacteristics of Charismatic Leaders
As discussed previously, one characteristic of transformational leaders is charisma (Bass, et al. 2003, p.216) although there are some leaders who are characterised as being so charismatic that they are referred to as charismatic leaders. Chio (2006, p.24) defines charismatic leaders as having three additional, core characteristics which are an ability to predict future trends and be visionary; being a creative thinker, and showing empathy and empowering colleagues. According to House, 1977, (cited in McKenna, 2006, p.411) charismatic leaders can motivate subordinates to perform effectively without having to invoke their position of power; they have a vision and the ability to convince subordinates to support that vision. Further characteristics include determination, energy, self-confidence and ability; in addition they are not afraid to be unconventional (McKenna, 2006, p.411).
Although charismatic leaders are unusual and exceptional in the business world, Hellriegel and Slocum (2007, p.240) use as an example Richard Branson who demonstrates the characteristic of both a transformational and a charismatic leader. Branson is characterised as someone who is prepared to follow his instincts and take risks, venturing into new territories (Boje and Smith, 2010, p.308). Branson has a flair for being slightly eccentric and is not afraid of being unconventional which Choi, as discussed previously, describes as a characteristic of charismatic leadership. Branson makes a clear statement about his company, Virgin, as being ‘different, colourful, iconoclastic and fun-loving’ (Crainer and Dearlove, 2008, p.43). Branson’s character appears to reflect the character of his company; for example, he appeared dressed as a Virgin bride and also abseiled down a skyscraper to promote his company (Business Pundit, 2011, n/p).
The CIPD (2008, p.8) report that there is some dislike for the ‘celebrity-like focus’ on so-called charismatic leaders. In the US a study investigated fifty-nine CEOs of Fortune 500 companies and investigated the link between charisma and performance over a ten year period and found there was no relationship (Tosi et al. 2004, cited in CIPD, 2008 p.8). A criticism made by Alvesson and Spicer (2010, p.9) claims that by endowing leaders with characteristics such as charisma, gives them a heroic and unselfish quality which enables them to persuade followers to pursue goals almost unquestioningly. Furthermore, Alvesson and Spicer (2010, p.64) maintain that some transformational leaders can be perceived as ‘saint-like’. Chio (2006, p.37) claims that frequently the positive aspects of charismatic leadership are emphasised and dysfunctional characteristics, such as the abuse of power, are often minimised. Chio (2006, p.36) reports that there can be very strong emotional bonds between a charismatic leader and their subordinates and in certain situations individuals may ‘sacrifice themselves for the sake of the group to maintain harmonious relationships with others’ (Triandis, 1995, cited in Chio, 2006, p.36). Thus charismatic leaders can use their influence malignantly; for example, there have been reports of charismatic leaders of religious sects who are able to persuade followers to commit mass suicide.
The CIPD (2008, p.8) also report on the ‘dark-side’ of charisma and suggest that although some leaders may superficially appear charismatic they hide undesirable characteristics such as dishonesty and greed. By the time such characteristics are discovered the organisation and employees may have suffered irreparable harm. Research undertaken by Collins (2001, cited in CIPD, 2008, p.8) investigated common characteristics in US companies quoted on the Stock Exchange whose performance was ‘outstanding’. The findings indicated that common characteristics included an unshakable belief in their company and also a ‘deep personal humility’. These CEOs were not at all charismatic and appeared to be quite unassuming. Collins also noted that failing companies had a CEO ‘with a gargantuan ego’ causing the company to fail (Collins 2001, cited in CIPD, 2008, p.8).Interpersonal Characteristics of Leaders. Characteristics of Authentic Leaders
As discussed in the previous sections there have been concerns regarding unscrupulous leaders; for example, although they may appear to be charismatic they may in fact have ‘exploitative’ motives (Bass and Riggio, 2008, p.5). Consequently there is a desire for leaders who are genuine and authentic (Bass and Riggio, 2008, p.xii). There appears to be some parallels between authentic leaders and servant leaders although currently there is limited research in this area according to Northouse (2013, p.235). Servant leadership focuses on the empathic characteristics of a leader towards subordinates and nurturing each employee’s talents and potential which is beneficial for the organisation (Northouse, 2013, p.233). Servant leadership proposes that leaders want to serve others and emphasises the altruistic characteristics of leaders who are focused on the needs of their subordinates (Greenleaf, 1977, cited in Northouse, 2013, p.219). The characteristic of the servant leader are numerous and the underlying principles involve the way in which the leader treats subordinates in terms of honesty and treating them fairly. A successful relationship between the servant leader and followers is a two-way process and followers must be accepting of the principles of empowerment and the opportunity to grow.
A characteristic of leaders which seems to be related to good leadership is emotional intelligence. Goleman (1998, p.317) defines emotional intelligence as ‘the capacity for recognising our own feelings and those of others, for motivating ourselves and for managing emotions in ourselves and in our relationships’. Emotional intelligence involves five key factors; self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skills (Goleman, 1998, p.9). It is argued that emotional intelligence is of benefit to leaders as it contributes to an awareness of their own emotions and how to regulate them as well as recognising emotions in others and having the social skills necessary to deal with other people’s emotions (Goleman, Boyatzis and McKee, 2001, n/p).
Guirdham (2002, p.545) suggests that there are certain qualities that followers look for in leaders and that a leader does not automatically gain the respect from subordinates. However, such qualities vary with different situations and the type of subordinates who are expected to follow. Gaining acceptance as a leader is also more difficult where there is prejudice concerning gender, race and ethnic group, and disability. Guirdham (2002, p.545) states that in general to be accepted by subordinates the characteristics of the leader need to include knowledge, competence, status, identification with the group, motivation, being proactive in promoting the group’s goals and good communication skills. As Sir John Harvey says:-
‘You only get a company going where you want it to by leadership by example and by honest and endless communication’ (cited in Mullins 2008, p.261).
Communication appears to be a very important characteristic of a good leader together with interpersonal relationships which is also related to emotional intelligence as discussed previously. It has been found that directive, coherent and positive communication is an effective style for leaders (Guirdham, 2002, p.550). However, other characteristics are also necessary such as trust, the way in which leaders try to persuade or influence followers and the way in which subordinates are encouraged to participate in decision making.Conclusion
It can be seen from the evidence presented that identifying the characteristics of a good manager is a complex task as there are many different traits or personality characteristics involved. Additionally characteristics cannot be identified in isolation and the situation or context must also be considered. Early research, for example trait theories, focused on the leader and did not consider the role or characteristics of the subordinates. This would appear to be relevant in contemporary society as employees are more empowered than they were in the past and are therefore less likely to blindly follow a leader. Transformational and charismatic theories of leadership identify many positive qualities in leaders; however, there is the issue identified by many researchers of deceitful leaders who can cause a company to collapse as in the case of Enron and other similar examples. The characteristics of a leader need to be genuine and authentic and the theoretical perspective of servant leadership emphasises the caring aspect of leaders towards their followers. Typically servant leaders are altruistic and are concerned about the well-being of others. There are a number of characteristics which appear to be more important than others although it is difficult to isolate only a few. However, one characteristic that does seem to be high on the list for good leaders is good communication and interpersonal skills (Guirdham, 2002, p.550).References
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