The Organization of Organization
The secret of all victory lies in the organization of the non-obvious.
The role of preparation and organization in facing uncertainty cannot be underestimated. We all want formulas for tackling the unknown. We believe that the only way to face uncharted territory is with a map and a compass. And we believe that the owner of the map and compass is the leader. It is not only that we trust in the leader to take us through uncertainty unscathed. The leader also gives us someone to blame in place of ourselves in the event of failure. And failure in situations of high risk is always an acute probability. Former CEO of General Electric and leadership expert Jack Welch claims that “an organization’s ability to learn, and translate that learning into action rapidly, is the ultimate competitive advantage.” It was a competitive advantage the ancient Israelites would not have because they refused to turn difficult situations into learned wisdom.
In Exodus 15, the Israelites looked behind them and saw the Egyptian army drowned on the shores of the Reed Sea. They broke out in exuberant song, finally confident in their faith in God and in Moses. But only three days beyond the splitting of the sea, they began to complain about the water. They needed Moses to solve their most urgent and inescapable problems immediately. They framed their woes in tragic terms. Had they realized the conditions, they would never have left Egypt. The wilderness could have been a difficult obstacle course to achieve independence. Instead it was Moses’ expansive courtroom, where he was judged and found guilty again and again.
To understand what went wrong and learn from it, we need a comprehensive understanding of the structure of Numbers and the radical shift that takes place approximately midpoint in the book. The geographic context of the narratives also offers a critical key to unlocking the deeper mysteries of these wilderness texts. When these two elements are juxtaposed, what emerges is a leadership chasm both profound and disturbing.
Along with Numbers and Bemidbar, this book was also known to Jerome (a Roman Christian priest of the fourth century and author of the Latin translation of the Bible known as the Vulgate) as “Vaydaber,” the first word of the book, which translates as “and he spoke.” Using the first word as the title is common in Bible referencing but, interestingly, this title did not have staying power with Bible readers. The first event of the book and the topography clearly had more resonance over time, perhaps because speech, Moses’ lengthy farewell, is a stronger framework for Deuteronomy than for Numbers. The organization and travels of the camp are more characteristic of its content and also contribute to its breakdown into larger segments. In that spirit, most Bible scholars divide the book into three sections:
• 1:1–10:10 – the events at Sinai, which here constitute the general organization of the camp. This section of the text covers a time period of approximately twenty days.
• 10:11–20:13 – the major narratives of complaint and conflict in the wilderness south of Canaan, over a period of thirty-eight years.
• 20:14–36:13 – the battles and skirmishes involving Edom and Moab and the influence of foreigners on the camp over a five-month trek. This section also includes laws of oaths and a listing of the encampments to date.
This relatively loose rubric, when taken at face value, offers a simple thematic segmentation but does little to explain the intense transition in chapter 11 for which we as readers are completely unprepared. The organization of the camp begins in the first chapter, with a census to determine its fighting force; the text then offers us the placement of tribal units around the Tabernacle, the use of flags to demarcate tribes, and the division of Levite labor in relation to Tabernacle service and transportation. The organization of the camp also includes the rules for those who, for one reason or another, must live outside the camp either permanently or temporarily or break the conventions of encampment life: the leper, the adulterous woman, and the nazarite (who did not live outside the camp physically but spiritually, in a manner of speaking). Chapter 6 concludes with the priestly blessing and by the end of its verses, readers sense that the Israelites were fully prepared, both physically and spiritually, to launch an adventure of magnitude with the proper logistics in place, and set into motion through the blessing of its religious leaders.
Part of the establishment of the camp was determining who was in the camp and who fell outside the camp. Thus, Numbers 5 begins two chapters of instruction of how to determine who is to be counted. “The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Instruct the Israelites to remove from the camp anyone with an eruption or discharge and anyone defiled by a corpse. Remove male and female alike; put them outside the camp so that they do not defile the camp of those in whose midst I dwell,” (Num. 5:1–3). This initial barrier to membership, ritual impurity, is explained by the fact that God’s presence dwelled in the camp. If God’s presence rested within the camp, then impurity as defined by biblical law could not be tolerated in the same place.
It is not purity alone that determined who resided outside the camp on a temporary basis. There were a host of other factors that pushed someone outside of the camp’s parameters. Wrongdoing was central to the equation. “The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Speak to the Israelites, When a man or woman commits any wrong towards a fellow man, thus breaking faith with the Lord, that person realizes his guilt, he shall confess the wrong that he has done. He shall make restitution’” (Num. 4:5). Living within the close confines of a camp was a social challenge made more difficult in the absence of civility and the respect of the property of others. Stealing or harming another put one metaphorically outside of the camp. Stealing descended into adultery only a few verses later. God asked Moses to speak to the Israelites and warn them of the perils of infidelity: “If a man’s wife has gone astray and broken faith with him…the man shall bring his wife to the priest” (Num. 4:11). The particulars of this case are laid out in the open. A married woman had relations with a man other than her husband consensually, but without a witness to see her. Her husband, paralyzed by jealousy and anger, had to determine her status and her loyalty. He relied upon the high priest to help him and brought her to the priest for “ritual testing.” The case in question is less relevant to our study than are its underlying assumptions. An individual who cannot remain faithful within her own home may endanger the social fabric of the camp, as the text concludes: “the woman shall become a curse among her people” (Num. 4:27). Certain behaviors undermine the morality of the camp.
As we move to Numbers 6, we find another variation of the outsider status. Like the infidelities of the woman whose behavior placed her outside of the camp, the next category is the nazarite who willingly and voluntarily made a decision to be an ascetic. While such behavior did not remove him from the physical encampment, it did move him away from the norms of the camp and separated him by choice. His distinctiveness was most apparent through the visible manifestation of his oath. Nazarites had to grow their hair and not cut it for the duration of their abstinence vow. When a person takes a vow of Jewish asceticism without specifying a time frame, the Talmud understands that the vow lasts for a month. In a month, hair cannot grow too long and would not change the appearance of a person, but over an extended period of time, the growth of hair, as will be discussed in a later chapter, made a noticeable change in the appearance of the nazarite.
The idea that this vow is considered a separation from the standards of the community set in chapters 1–5 is apparent from the very beginning of chapter 6: “If anyone, man or woman, explicitly utters a nazarite’s vow, to set himself apart for the Lord, he shall abstain from wine and any other intoxicant” (Num. 6:2–3). The notion that a nazarite sets himself apart is central to the decision of the nazarite. While the vow not to drink wine or any of its by-products can be a private decision without any visible manifestations, the biblical text demands that a “no razor shall touch his head” (Num. 6:5) of anyone who makes such a choice. The concluding words of chapter 6 mention the blessing that Aaron and his sons offer the Israelites. The last verse that follows this priestly blessing, uttered today in traditional synagogue services, mentions the reason for the blessing: “Thus they [the Israelites] shall link My name with the people of Israel and I will bless them” (Num. 6:27). This completes the chapters of preparation. The next chapters focus on transportation, the camp in motion.
Beyond discussing who was included in the encampment, the text also sets forth guidelines regarding the structure of the encampment itself. Each tribe had to have a flag or banner to demarcate itself: “The Israelites shall camp each with his sign, under the flags of their ancestral house; they shall camp around the Tent of Meeting at a distance” (Num. 2:2). One medieval commentator proposes that the demarcations on each flag – or literally “letters,” as the Hebrew translates – are the letters of the names of the ancestral tribes that should appear on each flag. Rashi, citing a midrash, suggests that each tribe had to pick a colored cloth: “Each flag should have a different sign, namely a piece of colored cloth, each distinct from the other. The color for each tribe should match the color of its stone that is fixed on the breastplate.”1This translation of Rashi is taken from Rev. M. Rosenbaum and A.M. Silberman, Pentateuch with Targum Onkelos, Haphtaroth, and Rashi’s Commentary: Numbers (Jerusalem: Routledge and Kegan Paul Ltd., 1933). We read that the twelve stones on the high priest’s breastplate represented the twelve tribes; the color of each became associated with its respective tribe. “The stones shall correspond to the names of the sons of Israel: twelve, corresponding to their names. They shall be engraved like seals, each with its name, for the twelve tribes” (Ex. 28:21). The name of the tribe appeared on a gemstone in the plate; thus this garment signified the heavy weight that the leader carries for his constituents. Each tribe had a flag whose color resembled that of a gemstone on the plate. This explains the colors but not the signs of each tribe.
Rashi writes that the word “signs” refers to the physical placement of each tribe and corresponds to the location of each son when carrying Jacob after the patriarch died. If, for example, Judah stood on the east side of the bier, then the tribe of Judah should be placed on the east side of the encampment. In other words, both in color and placement, the tribes should look for precedents from earlier biblical sources. Abraham Ibn Ezra, the Spanish poet and commentator who often disagreed with Rashi, disagrees with him once more here. He writes that each flag was distinguished by a sign from the blessings that Jacob gave his sons on his deathbed, a text we read at the end of Genesis. Judah, in Jacob’s blessing, is called a lion: “He crouches down like a lion, like the king of beasts who dare rouse him” (Gen. 49:9). The sign of the lion then became associated with Judah and appeared not only on this ancient tribal flag, but also on synagogue stained glass windows for centuries.
In the beginning of Numbers, these basic elements – numbers, colors, and symbols – contribute to the creation of national identity. When we connect these signs to the breastplate or to the patriarch Jacob, we are, in essence, forging a memory of the past in these antecedents. Often national symbols and signs reflect a haphazard and unconscious development over time. But there are opportunities, found in the freshness and enthusiasm of new projects, to create deliberate emblems of a new entity, be it political or religious. Numbers tells us that something as important as national consciousness cannot be created by chance. Alexander Solzhenitsyn said upon the acceptance of his Nobel Prize, “Nations are the wealth of mankind, its collective personalities; the very least of them wears its own special colors and bears within itself a special facet of divine intention.”2From his Nobel Prize acceptance speech, which can be read online at http://www.davar.net/EXTRACTS/MISCL/SOLZNOBL.HTM. In the wilderness, these special signs of distinction, paving the way to nationhood, would also become markers of order in the face of natural chaos. The preparations described in these first chapters are achieved largely through the taxonomy of separation: numbers, tribes, flags, deviant behaviors, and spiritual self-selection. All of these aspects were established in the setting up of the Israelite encampment. Physical readiness was paired with spiritual readiness. Physical deviation from the camp was paired with spiritual deviation from the camp. In or out, the camp’s parameters were set. Order was demanded.
The breakdown of that order looms large at the end of Numbers. Midpoint in the book’s narration, we find a brief encounter that foreshadows the crumbling. The camp has to move forward. In that movement, the fissures of the camp become evident. But first, we must describe the complex way that Moses was ordered to move the people and the Tabernacle forward.
The Call to Movement
Another critical aspect of organization lay in the coordinated movement of the encampment. The first six chapters of Numbers established the parameters of the desert community at rest. A larger organizational challenge lay in maintaining the integrity of the camp in motion. Numbers 9 offers us a glimpse at the art of Israelite travel, at both the way the actual encampment was established and how it moved.
On the day that the Tabernacle was set up, the cloud covered the Tabernacle, the Tent of Meeting, and in the evening it rested over the Tabernacle in the likeness of fire until morning. It was always so; the cloud covered it, appearing as fire by night. And whenever the cloud lifted from the Tent, the Israelites would set out accordingly; and at the spot where the cloud settled, there the Israelites would make camp. At a command of the Lord, the Israelites broke camp, and at a command of the Lord they made camp; they remained encamped as long as the cloud stayed over the Tabernacle. When the cloud lingered over the Tabernacle many days, the Israelites observed the Lord’s mandate and did not journey on. At such time as the cloud rested over the Tabernacle for but a few days, they remained encamped at a command of the Lord and broke camp at a command of the Lord. And at such time as the cloud stayed from evening to morning, they broke camp as soon as the cloud lifted in the morning. Day or night, whenever the cloud lifted, they would break camp. Whether it was two days or a year – however long the cloud lingered over the Tabernacle – the Israelites remained encamped and did not set out. On a sign from the Lord they made camp and on a sign from the Lord they broke camp; they observed the Lord’s mandate at the Lord’s bidding through Moses. (Num. 9:15–23)
The passage is lengthy, almost repetitively so. In nine verses, the word “Lord” appears eight times. The “cloud” is referenced eleven times. The “camp” (including the verb “encamp”) appears eleven times. The repetition of words mirrors the repetition of ideas. It is abundantly clear from the passage that the cloud rested above the Tabernacle in the Israelite camp and that when the cloud moved, it was a divine sign for the camp to move, day or night, after a lengthy or brief stay. When biblical commands or acts are repeated, the repetition often indicates an emphatic desire to contradict what should typically be understood or expected in any given situation. The Israelites were unsure of how to go from one destination to another. They may have repeatedly doubted Moses’ sense of direction. They may have regarded a cloud as too ephemeral a sign by which to chart the direction of tens of thousands of people. No doubt, the Israelites knew that the distance between Egypt and Canaan was not years, but a journey of days or weeks; an inherent mistrust of the camp’s leadership emerged as a result of the wilderness circumlocutions. The text, at such times, must break and state that this was all part of a divine, master plan. Part of establishing a routine in the wilderness was holding fast to a travel pattern that stayed the same, for a few days or a few months. God was a constant travel companion, visible in the heat of fire and the protective cloud. The Divine Presence was manifest in every movement.
The choice of the cloud as a sign and a compass is an interesting one. It is opaque, diaphanous, mysterious, and lofty. These qualities would well associate the cloud with God. But the cloud is also a substance without substance, like an unfulfilled wish or an impossible goal, an unattainable dream. It cannot be touched. It can only be seen, and even then it passes. The cloud is a see-through cushioned paneling that enclosed the Israelites as it gently contoured and softened the wilderness’s unyielding harshness. Normally, it can only offer limited protection. The cloud is part of nature and the desert landscape, but here it transcends the landscape and becomes the sign of God’s presence, giving the Israelites the confidence to act independently and protect themselves, while maintaining an aura of mystery.
There is also an inflexibility about the description in this passage, highlighting the rigidity of the desert dynamic, partly through repetition of that which we already know and partly through use of direct terms. We are told that this pattern was never-changing; “it was always so,” as if no deviation from this pattern or rule was tolerated. Again and again the text lets us know that this is the Lord’s mandate and that it was observed. This fixed set of protocols receives attention as early as Numbers 1 where we learn the steep price to be paid for any variation.
When the Tabernacle is to set out, the Levites shall take it down, and when the Tabernacle is to be pitched the Levites shall set it up; any outsider who approaches it shall be put to death. The Israelites shall encamp troop by troop, each man with his division and each under his standard. The Levites, however, shall camp around the Tabernacle of the Pact; that wrath may not strike the Israelite community; the Levites shall stand guard around the Tabernacle of the Pact. The Israelites did accordingly; just as the Lord commanded Moses, so they did. (Num. 1:51–54)
In a climate of uncertainty, there must be hard and fast laws that are clear, repeated, and understood by every member of the camp. Without them, anarcy would reign and the camp would be directionless. Chapter 9 offers a stark and rigid processional. Leaders, to manage change and surprise, must have certain steadfast guidelines that are immutable. Yet because the wilderness is a place of unpredictability and contingency, it is hard to imagine that the rules were always observed. And they were not. Although chapter 9 presents the ideal framework of movement, the narrative that unfolds in later chapters shows that Israelite travel was hardly linear and rule-oriented.
Rather than the tedium of typical lists, Numbers offers a travelogue of a journey punctured by problems, pushing the reader into the trek’s complexities and challenges so that he or she experiences the hunger, monotony, and anxious feelings of rebellion with its original participants. Bible scholar George W. Coats tackles one of the most evident literary difficulties in Numbers: the itinerary that is offered is often non-linear, contradictory, or just plain geographically impossible. Coats believes that the itinerary lists that bookend Numbers are attempts to order a journey that was not inherently organized, to give an “impression of unity” where none may have existed.3George W. Coats, “The Wilderness Itinerary,” CBQ 34 (1972): 138. Coats mentions the fragmentation, but does not believe that these fractures undermine the text’s general coherence.
Although Numbers contains many significant narratives, it is also sprinkled with lists of people and places that form a skeletal structure that holds the narratives in place, which are termed “itineraries” in formal, ancient literature. Itinerary notices were a common form of chronicles in days past to mark hunts, travels, military victories, and the general advancement of a group. Itineraries are a way that texts communicate progression. Yet, this generality does not hold true for the itineraries of Numbers, which, more than anything, tell of hardships and lapses, failures and losses. B.E. Scolnic, in his book Theme and Context in Biblical Lists, contends that the nonnarrative portions of Numbers are an intriguing way that the reader is asked to enter the world of the text:
The list may achieve meaning in a Biblical context by making the remote imminent. If we are told exactly how many men were involved in an event, if we read all the details of the stages of the journey…we feel that we are close to the events. It is a closeness that springs from knowledge of details.4B.E. Scolnic, Theme and Context in Biblical Lists, South Florida Studies in the History of Judaism 119 (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1995), 165, as seen in Angela Roskop, The Wilderness Itineraries (Winona Lake, in: Eisenbrauns, 2011).
Rather than a simple list of places, the text beckons to us with its details and failings to become part of the travel story. Angela Roskop in The Wilderness Itineraries believes that these fractures in the narrative are highly problematic, but ultimately do express a “coherent, linear, goal-directed movement.”5Roskop, The Wilderness Itineraries, 191. “Contradictions in the itinerary chain can, therefore, be understood both to create an impression of unity in the text and to point to disunity in the text due to diachronic development.” 6Ibid. The journey pattern itself offers another example of the dialectic tensions present in Numbers. Travel should be progressive and logical and cover the most distance in the briefest period of time for the sake of efficiency. In Numbers, travel sequences do not accomplish these ends, but rather highlight confusion, exhaustion, and even betrayal. According to The Anchor Bible, this meld of confusion serves as an important cautionary tale and a compelling explanation for the inclusion of Numbers in the biblical canon:
In a significant way, the literary function of Numbers as part of the Torah literature is to assure that future generations realize how certain habitual shortcomings have complicated Israel’s relationship with God, ever since that relationship was initiated after the Exodus from Egypt.7Baruch Levine, The Anchor Bible: Numbers, 1–20 (New York: Doubleday, 1993), 46.
Numbers showcases how a relationship that began with energy and commitment flagged over time, surfacing the impatience of faith commitments not fully matured. Baruch Levine claims that God exhausted His compassion after Exodus and remained with the Israelites by pinning hopes on the generation after the wilderness.
God ultimately kept his promise, delaying the conquest of Canaan but not voiding his covenant with Israel. God continued to feed his people in the wilderness and to provide for their life-sustaining needs, pinning his hopes on the next generation of Israelites to accomplish the conquest and settlement of Canaan.8Levine, The Anchor Bible: Numbers, 1–20, 47.
The thousands of deaths that occurred in Numbers confirm Levine’s view. The worth of the Israelites would be determined by the next generation. Most of those who crossed the hot sands and confronted the stark mountains of Sinai would never live to see the Land of Israel.
The circuitousness of the journey is attributed to the moral and faith lapses of the travelers, as reflected in Psalms:
May they not be like their fathers,
A wayward and defiant generation;
A generation whose heart was inconstant, whose spirit was not true to God. (Ps. 78:7–8)
“Straight and narrow” describes both a travel path and a moral posture. Because the Israelites compromised on the latter, they were denied the former.
The Bump in the Road
How, we wonder, do we get from the tight organization of the first nine chapters of Numbers – the camp at rest and in motion – to the narrative unraveling of sibling gossip, rebellion, rampant immorality, and idolatry? Where did our ancestors go wrong? One small incident indicates that the reigning order of the encampment against the chaos of the midbar would not last long. There was a wink of doubt. In chapter ten, the camp’s marching orders were delineated with the soldiers grouped in flanks. The passages close with a statement of that order: “Such was the order of the march of the Israelites as they marched troop by troop” (Num. 10:28). A brief narrative interruption of four verses clouds what has otherwise been a conversation-free ten chapters.
Moses said to Hobab, son of Reul the Midianite, Moses’ father-in-law, “We are setting out for the place of which the Lord has said, ‘I will give it to you.’ Come with us and we will be generous with you, for the Lord has promised to be generous to Israel.” “I will not go,” he replied to him, “but will return to my native land.” He said, “Please do not leave us, inasmuch as you know where we should camp in the wilderness and can be our guide. So, if you come with us, we will extend to you the same bounty that the Lord grants us.” (Num. 10:29–32)
Hobab is a word that indicates friendship. It may well have been an honorific or a title that signified closeness, indicating the nature of the relationship that Moses enjoyed with his brother-in-law. The fact that Moses invited Hobab to join him is no surprise given the relationship that Moses had with his father-in-law, whose counsel he had relied upon in setting up the governance structure of the camp. It is only when Hobab indicated that he was not part of Moses’ people but must return to his own that we get a glimpse of an ancient leader’s panic: “Please do not leave us, inasmuch as you know where we should camp in the wilderness and can be our guide.” For all of Moses’ prodigious leadership talents, navigating uncertain territory was not on the list. This was not a polite request for companionship, but a desperate plea for guidance. The translation of “guide” for the word “enayim” in 10:31 is misleading. Moses was looking for another set of eyes (enayim), eyes that could see what he could not in a place he could not navigate. In the event that Hobab’s refusal was based on the insecurity of being a non-Israelite, Moses assured him that he would benefit from any bounty or privilege that the Israelites received. But this was not enough to change Hobab’s mind. He disappeared from the text, and Moses’ request for leadership in this vast, alien terrain remained unanswered. When Hobab left, Moses lost more than a trusted friend. His compass left.
The text moves on. The march continued a distance of three days. Moses – without Hobab’s assistance – offered a clarion call to march forward as the Ark of the Covenant began its movement behind God’s clouds of glory. After detailing the camp procedures for movement, the text details the first days:
They marched from the mountain of the Lord a distance of three days. The Ark of the Covenant of the Lord traveled in front of them on that three days’ journey to seek out a resting place for them; and the Lord’s cloud kept above them by day, as they moved on from camp. (Num. 10:33–34)
The text presents an Ark almost floating ahead without human guidance that literally situated the next camp. It was not the people who situated the Ark, but the Ark that determined the way. Moses noted the significance of this in his declaration when the Ark first pressed forward in words familiar to us from the liturgy. When the Torah scroll is removed from the ark in a synagogue, the same verse is sung by the congregation to note the moment of travel:
Advance, O Lord!
May Your enemies be scattered,
And may Your enemies flee before You! (Num. 10:35)
When the ark settled, Moses offered a different prayer:
Return, O Lord!
You who are Israel’s myriad of thousands. (Num. 10:36)
The Ark here was more than a navigational system; it was a shield and a sign of military protection. The Ark may have been regarded as some kind of substitute for thousands of foot soldiers to protect the camp. It was thus regarded as the mechanism by which Israel would secure its safety. Alternatively, others translate this verse to mean that the Ark is returned to Israel’s myriad of thousands who, no doubt, are not as whole in its absence.
With the dramatic flourish of the Ark’s movement, the chance encounter with Hobab is passed over. Chapter 11 begins immediately thereafter and reports the most painful complaints of the Israelites to date. By the middle of the chapter, there is a breakdown of the whole camp: “Moses heard the people weeping, every clan apart, each person at the entrance of his tent” (Num. 11:10). Moses himself asked that his life be taken rather than lead this people. By the chapter’s end, God sent a severe plague and thousands of Israelites who complained about the lack of meat in the wilderness died with quail meat between their teeth. The camp fell apart.
Moses’ conversation with Hobab is the first indication of real leadership insecurity, of a fissure in the mission. God moved through the camp as a cloud of glory by day and a pillar of fire by night, but the Israelites were seeking a human source of guidance. They were in great need of advice. Moses asked twice in four verses for Hobab to stay and reap the benefits of the Promised Land with them. In ten chapters of organizational direction, only four lines indicate that the choreographed structure was not enough to battle the wilderness. The chaos of the midbar would soon reign.
Without the constraints of slavery, in a place that even powerful kings negotiated only with difficulty, the Israelites finally broke the shackles of servitude. In the wilderness, they also found primal love and dependence on God. Without the boundedness of oppression, in the chaste, monochromatic landscape of the desert, the ancient Israelites discovered God for themselves. Much later, the prophet Jeremiah, in trying to revivify Israelite love for God, reminded the people of their early days of utter dependence in the wilderness: “Thus said the Lord, ‘I remember the devotion of your youth, your love as a bride, when you followed Me into the wilderness in a land not sown’” (Jer. 2:2). In Eliot’s empty wasteland, the Israelites experienced the rewards of chastity and fidelity to God. There was nothing else. In a place stripped bare of luxury, human beings found their essential selves. What matters most can only be truly discovered where there are few distractions.
But this idealized portrait could only be sustained if the Israelites maintained trust in their leader through the material hardships of the wilderness. They could not. When Moses asked for Hobab’s help, he also revealed the chink in his own leadership armor. He did not know where to go. He saw the long-term vision, but could not navigate the short-term challenges. He asked for another set of eyes. They were denied him.
To thrive, organizations need rules, and they also need vision. One without the other will either lack the discipline or lack the dream. To lead, you need both direction and inspiration.