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January, the start of Q1, is a great time to reevaluate and set your business goals for the year. (If you’re reading this in a different month, it’s never a bad time to set goals and improve!) However, goals will only get you so far—you need a business system to make them happen.

Moses wasn’t a businessman per se, but he did lead millions of people. Leadership like that requires a system, and the Bible points out the exact moment he created one. The idea was actual his father-in-law Jethro’s idea. He saw how much energy it was taking Moses to speak individually with everyone, so he offered some advice.


Let’s take a look at Exodus 18:13-24 (NKJV):


“And so it was, on the next day, that Moses sat to judge the people; and the people stood before Moses from morning until evening. So, when Moses’ father-in-law saw all that he did for the people, he said, “What is this thing that you are doing for the people? Why do you alone sit, and all the people stand before you from morning until evening?”

And Moses said to his father-in-law, “Because the people come to me to inquire of God. When they have a difficulty, they come to me, and I judge between one and another; and I make known the statutes of God and His laws.”

So Moses’ father-in-law said to him, “The thing that you do is not good. Both you and these people who are with you will surely wear yourselves out. For this thing is too much for you; you are not able to perform it by yourself. Listen now to my voice; I will give you counsel, and God will be with you: Stand before God for the people, so that you may bring the difficulties to God. And you shall teach them the statutes and the laws, and show them the way in which they must walk and the work they must do.

Moreover you shall select from all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them to be rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens. And let them judge the people at all times. Then it will be that every great matter they shall bring to you, but every small matter they themselves shall judge. So it will be easier for you, for they will bear the burden with you. If you do this thing, and God so commands you, then you will be able to endure, and all this people will also go to their place in peace.”


What Exodus 18 Teaches Us About Building a Business System:


1. When Work Isn’t Regulated, Everyone Suffers (Delegate, Delegate, Delegate!)

Jethro told Moses that he wasn’t regulating his work very well. Because of this, Moses and the people were both on the verge of burnout (vs. 17-18). Even though Moses was zealous about the work God called him to do, he was wearing himself thin. The people weren’t being served effectively either.

A good business system involves delegating responsibilities throughout the team. When done well, delegation helps everyone thrive.


2. Business Systems Involve Leadership and Management

Moses had two responsibilities: (vs. 19-20)

1. Show them the way in which they must walk (Leader)

2. Show them what they must do (Manager)

A leader concentrates more on people than on work. They move people beyond their own limitations and transforms them through relationship. A manager, however, concentrates more on work than on people. They operate within established patterns and practices that allow the leader to function. They get the job done by directing and guiding the work of others within the limits of those patterns and practices. When an organization is small, people may have to work as a leader and a manager. However, when growth occurs, there is space to delegate the responsibilities. In this passage, Moses was functioning as both, but Jethro was trying to show him how to give some of the management responsibilities to others in the group.


3. In Order to Systemize Work, Categorization is Key

Jethro instructed Moses to divide his management responsibilities into two parts: great matters and small matters. Moses was to handle the great matters, and the smaller matters were to be delegated.

Developmental work is another term that can be used to think about the ‘great matters.’ Developmental work includes big projects that may only happen once, such as writing or marketing a book, creating an eCourse like our lessons on WealthBuilders University, planning an event, or hiring a new employee. It usually comprises around 30% of the work in any given organization.

Developmental work has an innovative nature. Because of that, it is difficult to systematize. Plus, it’s usually important and critical for the business. So, leaders typically handle developmental work themselves.

On the other hand, the ‘small matters’ can be thought of as routine work. Routine work typically includes about 70% of an organization’s activities. This kind of work is just asking to be systemized. For example, in our Denver WealthBuilders office, routine work involves email management, monitoring partnership, and maintaining social media ad campaigns. Routine work is delegated among our staff and recorded on a Key Performance Indicator Excel Sheet.


Key Performance Indicators

Creating a business system for routine work looks a lot like the dashboard on a car. Just like your dashboard records and immediately reveals important data such as RPMs, oil pressure, and engine temperature, your business dashboard should quickly tell you about the health of your organization.

A good way to dashboard your routine work is to create and monitor your key performance indicators. It’s not enough to keep these figures floating around in your head—you need to build a system that tracks your growth.

Choose KPIs that are tied to your business mission. For example, since WealthBuilders is an educational nonprofit, we want to make sure our information is getting out to as many people as possible. So, some of our KPIs monitor website traffic, our email list growth, and social media followings. We also need to be financially stable in order to operate, so we monitor things like partnership and donations, product sales, and our overall profits.

Even though our team manually enters these KPIs, it is still routine work because other technologies and systems are the ones gathering and tracking the data. Our team simply looks at those numbers and transfers them to a sheet, so our progress is easy to monitor all at once.

Since every organization needs financing, here are four basic questions you can ask yourself if you’re creating KPIs for the first time. Then, add indicators based on what items indicate the health and growth of your organization.


1. How much money is coming in?

2. How much money is going out?

3. How many customers do you have?

4. How many customers did you lose?

[Related: 3 Steps to Developing Business Systems]

 4. Systemization Creates Clarity and Peace

After a system was implemented, Exodus 18:23 tells us that leadership was easier for Moses and the people were able to go to their places in peace. Creating a business system is a lot like digging trenches—when you’re digging, it’s hard work. However, once the system is built, the waters can flow! There will be an evenly allocated work load and clear purpose for every member of your organization.