Nehemiah’s Project Management X Factor and Timber from the King’s Forest

Nehemiah’s Project Management X Factor and Timber from the King’s Forest

His ancestors had dedicated a Temple around 10th century BC to Yahweh. But Nebuchadnezzar II destroyed it around 587 BC during the siege of Jerusalem, by Babylon. It had taken many years to build that Temple.

He grew up, and rose to become one of the most important men in Persia (in modern Iran): a cup-bearer to Artaxerxes, king of Persia, and later, the king made him a governor of Persian Judea. To rebuild the Jerusalem wall, the king gave his permission to use timber from the king’s forest. In the imperial Persia, which had conquered Babylon, commanding the territories with military and economic powers, the king’s timber went with the king’s builders and security.  The wall was rebuilt within 52 days.

Yes, Nehemiah rebuilt the city wall circa 408 BC – the very one that stood in Jerusalem during the time of Christ. Later, Roman Generals Titus and Vespasian destroyed the Temple in the city during the siege of AD 67 -70.

I am yet to read of any man that understands foreign policy, diplomacy and large project management better than Nehemiah. In this piece, I explain thus:

If Nehemiah had used any timber that was different from timber from the king’s forest, he would have failed. Understanding the situation in the region, and asking for the king’s timber was the reason he executed within 52 days. You must have the capabilities to decipher the most important component to have a successful project. And you must make sure you have that component.

Simply, any project that received timber supplies from the king’s forest was as good as executed. And only the most important projects qualified. As the aides shipped the timber, the guards would follow, making sure that none was wasted. Another set of guards would monitor compliance.

When I teach in Christian masterclass, I have called this The Nehemiah Xfactor on Project Management. It simply implies: know the most important resource to ensure that a project succeeds. For Nehemiah, it was to get the timber from the king’s forest. I enjoyed the Quality & Asset Management lecture by Tekedia Mini-MBA faculty, Michael Odigie.  In his Tekedia Live session, he used the word “critical” many times, as he explained reliability, quality, project execution, etc. You must understand the “criticality” of the components in your project map.

X Factor – a variable in a given situation that could have the most significant impact on the outcome.

Finish this piece here.

The Timber from the King’s Forest

Good People, I quote Adam Smith, Peter Drucker , Steve Jobs, Buhari, etc. But as a Scripture Union kid, Sunday school in college, and a teacher in the Church, I quote the Bible more often. I get more management insights from the Bible than any document out there. Take this as a nice case study on how to lead and manage projects, even though the reference is the Bible. Have a great Sunday.

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7 thoughts on “Nehemiah’s Project Management X Factor and Timber from the King’s Forest

  1. The most profound feature Nehemiah exhibited wasn’t his execution capability, but rather thought leadership, being able to figure out the most critical success factor. A flawed thought process stands no chance when stakes are very high.

    Many a times what we see are people who are passionate about solving problem, even when they do not understand the problem they want to solve; at the end of the day, their best efforts aren’t good enough.

    So, it begins with how we view things, the quality of questions we ask, where we ask them, and the sort of people we ask those questions. It is not enough to show willingness or hunger to solve a problem, but how much have you invested in understanding what the problem is, and how robust your assumptions and considerations are.

    Nehemiah understood what needed to be done, and had clarity of thought on how best to get it done. If you are the type that easily get excited at the sight of seemingly first good option, you will never have the patience and resilience to search for deeper and more nuanced option, which would allow you to execute flawlessly.

    What is is in play here is just for the outliers, it is not for everyday people to delve into, else you would mistake bronze for gold.

    Reply
    1. I always love reading from Ndubuisi and feel more of this love reading Francis’ comment. I love both your thought process. It keeps me on my feet.

      Francis I would love to connect with you beyond here. For security reasons I wouldn’t post contact details here. I already added you on LinkedIn which is pending.

      I believe we have things to do together.

      Salute..

      Reply
  2. “It is not enough to show willingness or hunger to solve a problem, but how much have you invested in understanding what the problem is, and how robust your assumptions and considerations are.”

    Amazing! This one is for keeps. Thanks Mr. Francis.

    Reply
  3. And importantly, the process Nehemiah went through, before he secured the kings attention, he fasted and prayed too. Secondly not withstanding the opposition of samballat, Tonight and Geshen, he stood firm and appointed the right people that means that he chose a competent theme, and voilà…52 days , he accomplished his task.

    Reply
  4. Another reminder that a select number of doors are opened from the inside (much like 10 Downing Street), diplomacy Andre international relational was certainly Nehemiah’s asernal and can be so for us today as we navigate business or personal relations – in a deal, who is in the room, outweighs what is it that you are doing that room to start with. Failure to read this might mean 52 years attempting to rebuild a wall, instead of 52 days. Then there’s Divine Provenance

    Reply
  5. Another reminder that a select number of doors are opened from the inside (much like 10 Downing Street), diplomacy in international relational was certainly Nehemiah’s asernal and can be so for us today as we navigate business or personal relations – in a deal, who is in the room, outweighs what is it that you are doing that room to start with. Failure to read this might mean 52 years attempting to rebuild a wall, instead of 52 days. Then there’s Divine Provenance. Much gratitude for sharing.

    Reply
  6. In the Book of Nehemiah, I particularly noted that he prayed a lot. He would just say a prayer in his mind before he made a response. And that confirms that faith without works is nothing. Those who pray should match it with actions.

    Reply

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