Nehemiah’s ability to solve complex problems grew out of his manner of seeing the problems-as a systems thinker. Peter Senge wrote, “Systems thinking is a discipline of seeing wholes. It is a framework for seeing interrelationships rather than things, for seeing patterns of change rather than static snapshots.

Two elements of systems thinking made a difference for Nehemiah. He saw “the subtle interconnectedness that gives living systems their unique character,” and he saw the “structures” that underlie complex situations.” For a primer on systems thinking, read Nehemiah 1-6. You will see Senge’s elements of systems thinking powerfully at work.

You will discover that building the wall wasn’t an easy project. It certainly wasn’t problem-free. It’s okay to have problems; it’s not okay to ignore them. Problems are a fact of life for any system. How big those problems become will be determined by the leader’s willingness to address them. Things rarely work themselves out. The longer a problem goes unaddressed, the more complicated it becomes.
If God has birthed a vision in your heart, there is too much at stake to allow your system to become misaligned. Understand how this particular problem relates to the overall goals and objectives of the entire system. That’s the key relationship-between the crisis and the vision of the whole system- that will prevent problems from becoming personal.

In resolving difficult problems, remember some of the things we’ve discussed in previous chapters. Lead without being manipulative or authoritarian; maintain your integrity at all costs; resolve differences in person; believe the best in others. Failure to do these things would contribute to discord in your business or family. And this discord could ultimately derail the entire system. Maintaining your moral authority allows you to confront problems when they surface among the system. Additionally, you will be a better leader, husband, wife, employer or whatever other role God has chosen for you at this time.