Leading from the Good Earth – Nu Leadership Series

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”
Mohandas Gandhi

Have you ever wondered what life would be like for a leader in an uncomplicated lifestyle? Do you wish for a simpler life, leader? This request is an interesting proposition. Clearly, it is beneficial to understand how we evolved into this complicated style of leadership. Let’s explore leadership in an agrarian society. In Genesis 1:28, God instructs His first manager, Adam, to exert “dominion over the Earth.” God further instructs Adam on his agrarian duties in Genesis 2:15—to “dress and keep it.” Man is given the divine right of working the good Earth. Therefore, Adam is the first true leader.

Before the Industrial Revolution, life centered on two factors: land and labor. Life was simple. Rural living revolved around the land; owning it was equivalent to self-sufficiency and liberty. Although Americans lived in a tribal structure prior to the Agrarian Era (1650-1849), farming communities operated in a decentralized economy. Being a leader was “hot” stuff. Farmers were like heroes because of their hard work, contributions to society, independence, and moral standards. A man’s word meant something. With the transition from an agrarian to industrial society, untainted leadership was lost.

In addition, leaders lacked a process to motivate this new kind of unskilled workforce. This created a host of new advances as well as new problems. Today, modern society may mock agrarian lifestyle because it was simple. However, the value of hard work and setting a moral standard for the community shouldn’t be forgotten. For this is the backbone of our society.


Designshare.com. (2006). Changing patterns in educational facilities: Agricultural society (1650-1849). Received on February 2, 2006 from http://www.designshare.com/Research/ChangingPatterns/ChangingPatterns2.htm

Wren, D. (2005). The evolution of management thought. Hooboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

© 2008 by Daryl D. Green