"Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of this your servant and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name. Give your servant success today by granting him favor in the presence of this man" - Nehemiah 1:11.
Nehemiah was a servant in the king's court and he was facing the daunting task of persuading his master to release him for a season to go back and rebuild Jerusalem. Nehemiah knew that he had no 'leverage' with the king, except for his excellent service record in the royal court. What did Nehemiah do? He prayed that God would give him favor so he could be persuasive in the king's presence, and when the king asked him why he was sad, Nehemiah had a ready answer along with a request to go back home and rebuild Jerusalem. Leaders would do well to pray the same prayer, otherwise they will command people to perform, and probably see the followers comply. Yet there is no 'buy-in' or transformation of hearts and minds when people are forced to obey. When they choose to follow based on a persuasive presentation, however, the follower and leader both see more lasting and effective results, just like in the case of Nehemiah.
LEADERSHIP STEP: Your Step today is to pray like Nehemiah prayed. For what are you praying? You're asking for a persuasive tongue that can paint a vivid picture of why someone should respond or comply to the direction you see. Part of that is establishing a credible reputation among those with whom you work, as Nehemiah had. Then the other part is framing your argument in such a way that people can see it, ask questions and then willingly agree to follow.