Leadership Lessons from Nehemiah: How to Inspire and Guide Your Team

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Nehemiah was one of the Israelites taken as a slave from Judah to Babylon.

He was also from a priestly heritage. Asides from being from a priestly heritage, he kept himself blameless.

Most Israelites that were taken to Babylon forgot about God and worshipped other gods I’m Babylon but Nehemiah didn’t forget the true God and he continued to worship Him.

When God saw his heart, God gave him the grace to lead the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem which were broken.

It wasn’t an easy task because there was a lot of opposition from those who occupied the land of Judah already and also those outside the land of Judah.

In the face of these oppositions, Nehemiah was able to focus on his goals and maintain his integrity.

This is how a true leader should be, being focused until he achieves his goals.

In this post, I will be showing you some qualities that make Nehemiah a good leader that every other leader should emulate.

Qualities That Made Nehemiah a Good Leader

Leadership is not all about the title but your ability to influence a group of people in the right direction.

One of the best examples of a leader in the Bible is Nehemiah because he wasn’t the king but he could lead the Israelites to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.

Let’s take a look at some of the qualities that stands him out.

1. Vision and Goal settings

Nehemiah had the vision to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. This vision was inspired by God therefore God backed him and helped him in fulfilling the vision.

You can see from the story of Nehemiah that he was not a confused person. He knew what he wanted and he went after it.

You might think it is easy for a leader to stick to a vision but the truth is that it isn’t easy.

For Nehemiah to leave the land of Babylon and travel to Judah to carry out the Project of rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem shows that he was a focused person.

Some people will start with a vision but when they get halfway, They will get distracted and won’t be able to complete the project.

Some other sets of people will have a vision but they will never take any step to achieve that vision. They will always make excuses for how the vision is too hard to achieve. Most people fall into this category.

Nehemiah is an example of a leader who had clear visions and goals, he stayed focused till he achieved those goals.

2. Leading by Example

Most leaders we have these days do not lead by example. They only give instructions and tell others to follow.

But you can see from the story of Nehemiah that he was present during the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem.

Even when they were faced with opposition that threatened their lives, Nehemiah continued to stay with his people.

Most leaders at this point would have turned back.

When most leaders are faced with a situation that may threaten their lives, they would rather push their subordinates upfront.

Nehemiah was ready to fight for his people when they were faced with opposition even at the expense of his life.

Most leaders cannot stand by their team to the extent of risking their lives rather they would want their subordinates to risk their lives for them.

3. Communication and Collaboration

One of the challenges any leader can face is getting people of different backgrounds to work together.

We can see from the story of Nehemiah that he was able to get people of different backgrounds and skills together to work to achieve a common goal.

This goes to show that Nehemiah was a good communicator and he was also able to collaborate with people from different backgrounds.

His leadership style was inclusive, he was able to carry everyone along.

That Is one of the qualities every good leader should possess, you should be able to collaborate with your team members and carry everyone along.

Don’t be the type of leader that causes segregation in the team which can affect collaboration among team members.

Segregation in the team can cause unhealthy competition which can affect the progress of the team.

4. Empowering and Motivating the Team

Rebuilding a wall that has been destroyed isn’t an easy task especially when you are not being paid to do the work.

Nehemiah was able to encourage his people to work on rebuilding the broken walls because he had wisdom from God.

It is not every leader that can make their team Work on a vision that seems achievable.

Nehemiah had to empower the people by sourcing resources needed for rebuilding from the governor through his relationship with King Artaxerxes.

Nehemiah was also able to bring skilled people on board and he put them in charge in areas they were skilled. This strategy made achieving the vision faster.

Nehemiah didn’t choose people based on friendship but he selects chose based people based on their experience and skill

One of the things every good leader do is select people based on skills and competency while bad leaders select people based on familiarity.

If you want to be a good leader, you should learn to appreciate your team members when they are working.

You can appreciate them by saying kind words to them or by giving them valuable gifts.

When you appreciate your team members, you will encourage them to continue working.

5. Resilience and Problem-Solving

During the building of the wall, Nehemiah encountered a lot of challenges, especially from Sanballat and Tobiah.

They started by mocking the Israelites till it got to a level where they threatened to kill the Israelites.

Due to the threat, the Israelites were fearful but Nehemiah was able to come up with a solution.

The solution was that half of the men will work and half of the men will carry arms to protect their territory.

Those that were working were also required to carry weapons with them as they were working.

With this strategy, Nehemiah was able to secure their territory and the Israelites was able to complete the building of the walls.

So we can see that leaders are always faced with challenges but what differentiates good leaders from bad leaders is the way they respond to challenges.

On one hand, Good leaders respond to challenges by coming up with strategies to overcome the challenges.

Good leaders are willing to take the calculated risk so that the team can achieve their goals.

On the other hand, bad leaders quit when they are faced with challenges. They don’t dare to continue.

Bad leaders are always fearful thinking of everything that can go wrong when they make decisions.

The point is that as a good leader, you need need to be resilient and keep trying to achieve your goals.

You should be willing to take risks for the common good of the team.


Nehemiah is an example of a good leader because he had a vision and he was able to carry other people along to achieve that vision.

Even though the project was challenging and they had strong obstacles, Nehemiah never gave up instead he came up with a strategy to overcome the challenges.

The story of Nehemiah is not just a story it is a leadership guide that shows every leader how to be great.

You can read the story again and study the features that made Nehemiah a good leader. You can imbibe these habits in your leadership role.

You will see how it will transform you into that great leader you have always wanted to be.

Then I arose in the night, I and a few men with me; I told no one what my God had put in my heart to do at Jerusalem; nor was there any animal with me, except the one on which I rode.

Nehemiah 2:12

The most important thing a leader needs is a vision and that can only come from God.

You also need to meditate about the vision until you are fully bought into it. That is when you will be able to carry other people along.

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