The Cadence of Leadership

That was a wild finish to Super Bowl 51. There were brutal hits, acrobatic catches, fumbles, interceptions, highs and lows and an improbable victory. I’ve always been inspired and motivated when watching great football quarterbacks lead their teams out of the clutches of defeat and into the arms of victory. They seem cool, calm, and collected as they break their team out of the huddle and make their way to the line of scrimmage to start yelling their cadence. If you aren’t sure what that is, it sounds a little something like this:

“Omaha!” “Omaha!” “Blue 80!” “Blue 80!” “Down! Set! Hut-Hut!”

The cadence is a skill that has been developed from the ranks of pee-wee football and all the way up to the pros. So what’s the purpose of the cadence? Well, to sum it up, they are positioning their team for success. The play has been called by the coaches and now the quarterback is tasked with communicating and implementing the play. So as they walk up to the line of scrimmage they are reading the defense, they are making sure their team is in position, they audible when needed, and then they run the play.

Joshua 1:2 “Moses my servant is dead. Now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, into the land that I am giving to them, to the people of Israel.

Joshua finds himself with a monumental task of leading the Israelites into the promised land, or in our case, to the “championship.” The uncertainty of tomorrow coupled with the pressure of “filling” the shoes of Moses had to weigh heavy on him. The spotlight was on and the pressure was being felt. But as the assistant to Moses, this is what he had been groomed for. It was time time for Joshua to put the “helmet” and “clipboard” down, strap that helmet on and lead this team to victory.

The Coach calls the Play:

God called the next play. Joshua, get up and lead my team into their inheritance. God not only called the play, but He also challenged Joshua to be strong and courageous. Great coaches have the innate ability to bring out the best in their players. God also gives a strong reminder to Joshua that He is the one calling the plays, and that his success would be directly linked to his ability to keep his eyes on the “playbook.”

Joshua communicates the play:

Joshua huddles up with his team in Chapter 1:10 and with boldness and great certainty commands his team to “Prepare provisions, for within three days you are to pass over this Jordan to go in to take possession of the land that the LORD your God is giving you to possess.”

The Cadence begins:

* Read the defense:

“Omaha!” “Omaha!” Chapter 2:1 tells us that Joshua sent two men to spy out the land. Guess what? He’s reading the defense. What are their strengths and what are their weaknesses. What are we facing?

* Position the offense:

“Blue 80!” “Blue 80!” Joshua has led his team to the doorstep of Jericho. And it is at this moment in Chapter 6:1-7 that the details of the play are revealed. Joshua now knows how to position the team. He knows where the priests and the men of war need to line up. He can position them for success!

* Call the audible:

Every now and then the quarterback has to call an audible, which is a change to the play. We see this in Joshua 7 when Joshua and his team lose the battle at Ai. The called play was to take over the promised land, the audible was saying, “there’s sin in the camp that’s infecting the team! Stop and get it fixed.”

Vision, wisdom, insight, and the quarterback's ability to communicate such are usually developed in practice; but they are forged in the trenches of the “gridiron battlefield.” As leaders, we will taste the sweetness of victory and bitterness of defeat. Let’s learn from both. Let’s rise up and lead! Let’s get in the game because this is what we’ve been called for! The game is on….the clock is ticking… the play!

By: Daniel Ramirez