Moses: The Original CXO? A Humorous Look at Ancient Leadership Lessons

How the biblical figure of Moses can teach us a thing or two about modern leadership

Posted by Daniel Brody on March 29, 2023 · 4 mins read


Picture this: A leader faced with the task of managing a group of unruly individuals, guiding them through a hostile environment, and ultimately delivering them to a promised land. No, we're not talking about the latest CXO tackling a corporate turnaround. We're talking about Moses, the biblical figure who shepherded the children of Israel through the desert for 40 years. In this light-hearted blog post, we'll explore how Moses's leadership skills might not be that different from what's required of a modern-day CXO.

1. Mission-Driven Leadership: The Ten Commandments and the Company Vision

Just as any good CXO establishes a clear vision and mission for their organization, Moses received the Ten Commandments to guide the Israelites. These commandments were the foundation of a new society and provided a clear roadmap for the Israelites to follow. In the same vein, CXOs must communicate their company's vision, mission, and values to their teams, ensuring everyone is on the same page and working towards the same goals.

2. Crisis Management: Parting the Red Sea and Navigating Market Turbulence

Moses faced a seemingly insurmountable challenge when the Israelites were trapped between the Red Sea and the pursuing Egyptian army. With divine intervention, Moses parted the sea , allowing the Israelites to cross safely before the waters closed in on their pursuers. Similarly, CXOs must navigate turbulent market conditions, unexpected disruptions, and intense competition. While they may not have the power to part seas, successful CXOs must remain calm under pressure, think strategically, and find innovative solutions to overcome challenges and steer their teams to safety.

3. Conflict Resolution: The Golden Calf Incident and Managing Office Politics

When Moses came down from Mount Sinai and found the Israelites worshiping a golden calf, he had to deal with a crisis of faith and loyalty within his ranks. Moses didn't shy away from confrontation; instead, he decisively addressed the situation and took steps to refocus the people on their true mission. Likewise, CXOs must be skilled at handling conflicts and navigating office politics. They need to address issues head-on, mediate disputes, and work to create a positive, collaborative work environment.

4. Empowering Others: Delegating Authority to Joshua and Developing Future Leaders

Moses recognized the importance of grooming the next generation of leaders and delegated significant responsibilities to Joshua, who would eventually succeed him. In the world of business, CXOs must also identify, mentor, and empower talented individuals who can take on leadership roles in the future. By investing in the development of their team members, CXOs can build a strong talent pipeline and ensure the long-term success of their organization.

5. Patience and Perseverance: 40 Years in the Desert and the Long Game

Moses's journey through the desert was a long and arduous one, spanning 40 years. He faced numerous obstacles, setbacks, and moments of doubt, but he never gave up on his mission. CXOs can learn from Moses's unwavering commitment and patience. In the business world, success rarely comes overnight. Leaders must have the tenacity to stay the course, continually adapt and learn from their experiences, and maintain focus on their organization's long-term objectives.


Although the challenges faced by Moses and modern CXOs may be worlds apart, the leadership qualities required to shepherd their respective "flocks" to success are strikingly similar. By embracing mission-driven leadership, effective crisis management, conflict resolution, empowering others, and displaying patience and perseverance, today's CXOs can learn valuable lessons from the original shepherd of the people, Moses.

So, the next time you're facing a difficult leadership challenge, just ask yourself, "What would Moses do?"


  • April 4, 2023
  • Brody, Daniel