It should be no surprise that management consultants, looking to the bible for guidance and inspiration can take pride in Jethro. Jethro was the father-in-law of Moses, and is arguably the first management consultant!
To wildly paraphrase Exodux 18, Jethro counselled that Moses would wear himself out if he continued trying to do everything himself. He advised Moses not to sweat the small stuff, which should be delegated to men with the right qualities and motivations. After being trained and shown what to do, such men should then be allowed to get on with the job; referring only the big issues to Moses. Jethro also explained the benefits of this approach in Moses being able to live a long and happy life.
Arguably, not much has changed in the world of consulting over the past 5,000 years. Jethro’s consulting and mentoring skills are as relevant today as they were at the time of Moses. Jethro, correctly:
1. Observed the situation
“…Moses sat to judge the people: and the people stood by Moses from the morning unto the evening”
2. Recognised there was a problem
“..what you are doing is not good. You will surely wear away, both you and this people with you: for this thing is too heavy for you and you are not able to do it alone”.
3. Recommended a solution
“ teach them ordinances and laws, and show them what to do and how to do it”
“find the best men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place these people in charge, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens”
4. Advised how to implement effectively and efficiently
“And let them judge the people at all seasons: and it shall be, that every great matter they shall bring to you, but every small matter they shall judge..”
5. And explained the benefits
“so shall it be easier for you, and they shall bear the burden with you.”
I am sure that there is a lot more to learn from the bible, but in the world of management consulting has anything fundamentally changed since Jethro?