The Leader and Buy-In

Bill stopped in at Joe's little general store, seeking to purchase a bottle of mustard. The shelves were loaded with salt - bags and bags of salt. Joe said he had some mustard, but would have to go down into his cellar to find it. Bill went down with him, and to his amazement, there were still more and more bags of salt!

Everywhere he looked he saw salt. "Joe," Bill said, "you must sell a lot of salt in this store!" "Nah," Joe said sourly, "I can't sell any salt. But that fellow who sells me the salt - boy, can he sell salt!"

The salt salesman’s passion for selling salt caused Joe to become just as passionate in buying it!

True leaders eventually come to the point where they attract and empower others to their passion. Sometimes it's just a matter of finding others who share in the same passion. One thing is certain: genuine leaders connect with others.

This is what separates an entrepreneur and a leader. Leaders don't act alone. Leaders have to have followers, because they have a cause that is larger than they are. They need others to reach the goal, achieve the dream, and fulfill the vision.

Gideon is a great example of how one’s man’s passion causes others to become equally as passionate.

The Old Testament book of Judges tells us that Gideon destroyed an altar to the god Baal and built a new altar to Jehovah God. His passion went against the grain of his culture. In taking this bold step, Gideon won over his own father who was a key community influencer. 

He broadened his circle of influence by gaining the respect of Joash, and other tribes beyond his own borders. In one of my favorite vignettes from his life, Gideon was told to gather an army and attack the Midianites.

He recruited too many men and God told him to trim the size of his army or Israel might be tempted to take credit for the victory God would give (see Judges 7:2). He did as God said.

Gideon moved on God’s time (always the right time), with the right number of people, and experienced a great victory. 

Gideon, the leader, persuaded too many people to follow him ... a "problem" every leader would love to have! People don't automatically buy into a good cause.

As with Gideon, people first buy into the leader, then they buy into the leader's vision.

Who would have picked him as a leader? Certainly not Gideon! But despite his own doubts, God used him.


Read Gideon’s entire story from the book of Judges (chapters 6-8) in the Old Testament. (Read also about Gideon on Hebrews 11:32-34.)

What type of followers are you attracting and leading?

Are you gaining the respect of your leadership peers?

Answer the tough question: Are people buying into the vision God has entrusted to me?