Andy Stanley Shares His Pharaoh Principle

By Leigh Harper, May 16, 2019

Andy Stanley introduced a concept he called the Pharaoh Principle at Leadercast 2019 this month. The idea is that leaders should assign a project to the person who is most passionate about it, regardless of where that person sits on the organizational chart.

Stanley coined the idea from the story of Joseph in the Bible. Joseph, who had served time in jail, was asked to interpret a dream for Pharaoh, the leader of Egypt. Joseph shared that the dream meant that a famine was coming, so Pharaoh should prepare by storing up grain and appointing someone to oversee rationing food. On the spot, without knowing much about him but clearly seeing his passion and belief in the idea, Pharaoh selected Joseph for the job.

“An org chart is necessary but can get in the way when you’re trying to get things done,” Stanley said. He advocates for relying on the passions and natural strengths of team members rather than their job titles to make assignments.

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