Seems like the longer I lead the more numerous and complicated decisions I face. Good decision making is the mark of a great leader, so the journey to being a good decision-maker is a priority for me.

Most of our decisions in life and leadership will be “next-best-step” decisions. What is the next best step that God is asking you to take or to lead your team through?

Taking the next best step is where faith and obedience collide: faith for the unknown and obedience to the next step of action.

The story of Esther gives us a great example of this principle in action:

Scripture doesn’t really explain why, but notice that even when Esther approached King Xerxes, she doesn’t immediately share her request even though he extended his scepter to her to spare her life. Instead she asked for a banquet with him by which to share her request. And then, still at that banquet, she asks for another banquet. 

Why did she delay her request multiple times when she found favor with the king in her first encounter with him? I can only assume that she must have been responding to the discernment of the situation and being obedient to the next best step. We know that ultimately, the delay of that conversation allowed Haman’s evil plot to be exposed and Mordecai to be honored, making way for the king to eagerly grant her request.

When Esther made a decision, it was always a next-step decision. Every decision faced numerous outcomes that were beyond her control. Knowing she couldn’t control the outcomes, she simply remained faithful to her next step.

In my experience, God doesn’t give us the entire route all at one time. He gives us next steps, step-by-step, day-by-day. Learning to be comfortable and confident in those steps of obedience is what marks you as a great leader.

What critical decision are you facing today?  What does the next-best-step look like?


*Parts of this post are excerpts from chapter 6 of Just Lead!

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