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Find a Good Deputy

Find a Good Deputy

Rabbi Moffic writes, “Siblings in the Bible do not have a good track record. Cain murders Abel, Jacob manipulates Esau, Joseph’s brothers sell him into slavery.

Moses and Aaron, however, get along. Even though he is the elder brother, Aaron becomes Moses’ deputy and mouthpiece. He speaks for Moses before Pharaoh. He fills in for Moses when Moses is called to speak to God. He is the peacemaker when Moses loses his temper.

Aaron helps make Moses Moses.”

In the Bible, it is written, “For where two or three gathers in my name, there am I with them.” Matthew 18:20 NIV Does that mean when there are more gathered or less than two or three that God is not there – emphatically NO. This passage has nothing to do with the number of people gathering or praying, but it does reflect back to Deuteronomy 19:15 “One witness is not enough to convict anyone accused of any crime or offense they may have committed. A matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.”

Hold on Groot, you have gone from learning leadership lessons from Moses to have 2 or 3 people gathered to render a decision on the guilt of another person for an offense based on their testimony or witness. What the heck is that?

Let’s piece this together.

We must bring 2-3 witnesses together to affirm through testimony and eyewitness that an offense has been committed. Let’s take the same logic and say that we are trying to solve a problem or make the best decision possible for our next business move. By having more than yourself thinking on the challenge, people who can help research, have seen others face a similar situation, or have themselves been in that situation, wouldn’t you have a better solution?

Having this accord, this strength in decision making and direction taking is paramount to success. By having a few trusted individuals that you can count on in bearing the burden of decision making, bouncing ideas off, being the yin to your yang not only lightens the load but helps craft a better decision.

How did Aaron help Moses?

  1. There is good evidence that Moses had a speech impediment and was deeply shy, so Aaron was allowed by God to speak for Moses. We should pick people who complement us and strengthen our weaknesses. To do this we must know ourselves and be brutally honest with our shortcomings. 
  2. Moses was also raised as a nobleman, an Egyptian prince, and did not know the horrors of slavery as Aaron did. People could relate to Aaron. Pick people who have different opinions and backgrounds than yourself. This gives a more rounded lens for us to process with.
  3. Obdurate was a word that was used to describe Moses. In fact, this was a large part of how Moses endured the weakness of the Israeli nation and stood up to the Lord on their behalf. Aaron of course was much more “relaxed” and blunted Moses’ sword when needed.
  4. Aaron was older than Moses. There is much to be said about surrounding yourself with “advisors” that vary in age on both sides of you. Once again it provides a more rounded sphere of experience and insight.
  5. Aaron also had important connections to the Hebrew community. A connection that Moses was not able to create having been raised in Pharoah’s court. Circles of influence and connections are integral to expanding our world and reach.
  6. We also see the strength and support that Aaron gives Moses when the Israelites fought with the Amalekites. When Moses held up his arms the Israeli army where in control and when his arms dropped, they started to lose. Moses the caregivers needed the strength of Aaron the supporter to help hold up one of his arms so that the Israelites could win. You need someone who is steadfast in your corner, who is there for the long-term. This does not mean a “yes” person, but a person that you can rely on to give honest and reliable information and insight.

In business, the COO or Chief Operating Officer fills the role of a Deputy. Nathan Bennett and Stephen Miles wrote in the Harvard Business Review, “In many cases, the COO is there to help make the CEO’s vision a reality. Sometimes, the COO is expected to make the CEO more effective or more complete. Often, the plan is for the COO ultimately to fill the CEO’s shoes. But in all these constructions, the CEO is the magnetic force with which the COO must align. This makes asking the question “What makes a great COO?” akin to asking, “What makes a great candidate for U.S. vice president?””

In that same article, we read that there are seven kinds of COO and that choosing the right one depends on the need of the CEO and/or the company. They are the executor, change agent, mentor, the other half, the partner, the heir apparent, and the MVP. It kind of looks like Aaron, doesn’t it?

It boils down to some key factors that look very much like a marriage. In fact, it has been often said that you spend more time with your colleagues than your spouse.

  1. Absolute trust
  2. Shared vision
  3. Respect
  4. Putting the company (relationship) first – check the ego at the door, once inside the door
  5. Take care of the little details – execution needs to be flawless as possible
  6. Communication must be clear, concise, and cohesive – talk as soon as there is another thought or aspect that comes up, don’t wait
  7. Everyone has their specific roles delineated and pre-determined and discussed. Who has the decision rights for what areas/ideas
  8. Everyone must go through the COO to get to the CEO – always
  9. Know that job one is moving the company/relationship forward
  10. Lead don’t manage

Finding a Good Deputy is probably one of the biggest decisions you can make. Not only do you need to know what you are looking for, but you also need to really know yourself! You also need to know your communicating style and other people’s communicating styles – without the ability to really understand others and be able to read between the lines, no matter who you pick, it will be fraught with difficulty.

Clarity – clarity is power!


Chuck Groot is an author, speaker, teacher. His love of God has spanned over 6 decades and he finds the more he studies the Bible, the less he knows, the more he succeeds the more dependant on God he becomes, and that there is nothing outside of loving God our Father, and being loved in return.


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