Discussion Board Forum 2 LEAD 510- Spring 2015 – Liberty University by Joyce Gerald

To which of the 5 character studies from the Howell readings do you relate most in regard to your own leadership path? How do you most imitate the character, and what do you want to add to your life to emulate this person?

Character to follow – life of hardships

Of the five character studies presented by Don Howell, the one that best depicts the writer’s life is Joseph.  Being abandoned by his brothers and sold into slavery because of jealousy was his preparation for leadership through hardship (Gen 37:2-38:30).[1]  This writer was abandoned on the front porch of her grandmother’s home by her mother when she realized that she would not meet the requirements of the Ffrench family [The writer’s maiden name].  The writer was the only child of the only son of the Ffrench family – a family of means.  However, the author’s grandmother loved and protected her from the gossip of the community.  You see the writer’s parents were not married at the time of conception.  The writer did not discover this until she was twelve years old. The author’s grandmother took her to the United Kingdom to live with her father and stepmother; this mirrored Joseph’s time in Egypt. [2]  The writer ran away from home at age twelve to live with her grandmother in the family’s country home.  However, this led to a life of hardship and violations the nature of which no woman should ever endure let alone a child.[3]

Leadership opportunities that grew from the hardships

The writer gave her life to the Lord at age fourteen.  Even though, she experienced violations that were torturous she still experienced the presence of the Lord in her life.  Her love of the Lord led her to believe that she would be just fine.  She knew that God had a plan for her life.  She graduated from high school at age sixteen.  By age eighteen, she was the Assistant Cost Accountant for one of the largest metallic production companies in the UK. Promotions and recognition came not because the writer sought after them, but because the Almighty made it possible.[4]  At the age of nineteen, the writer was the Assistant Accountant for one of the seventh largest advertising agencies in the world, another leadership position that the Lord proffered to her.  From accountant to administrative assistant at Tweed Courthouse under Mayor Ed. Koch to graduate research assistant at Brooklyn College when she was not even a graduate.  Here the writer learned to serve others through the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Every professional leadership position that the author acquired occurred as a direct intervention of the Lord.

A defining leadership moment for the writer was when she had to choose to serve the Lord and lead with integrity in a district level administrative position, rather than adhere to the dictates of the Superintendent.[5] The writer chose to leave the job and work for another educational institution at a considerable loss in income.  However, that position gave her even more prominence in the community.

What do I want to add to my life to emulate this person?

Being fervently on mission for God every day of my life will demonstrate confidence in God’s sovereign grace.[6]  The writer is a classic introvert.  Stepping outside of one’s self can be a challenge at times.  However, throughout the years God’s grace has been more than sufficient to keep her.  In her current physical life and with the new health challenges that she is experiencing, her confidence in his sustaining grace is needed today more than ever before.  Each day has its health challenges.  Within this new career choice-pastoral counseling – and the ministry that she is involved in, the writer finds that leadership that engenders others, values others, and leads others following the example of the Lord is her focus.  This type of leadership cannot occur without total confidence in God’s sovereign grace (2 Cor 12:9).



[1] Unless otherwise noted, all biblical passages referenced are in the New International Version(Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1998).

[2]Don N. Howell, Servants of the Servant: A Biblical Theology of Leadership (Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock Publishers, 2003), 22-23.

[3]Ibid., 23 Potiphar’s wife

[4]Ibid., 24

[5] Ibid., 24 Integrity before God and man

[6] Ibid., 26


Howell, Don N. Servants of the Servant: A Biblical Theology of Leadership. Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock Publishers, 2003.


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