Jethro tells Moses to be the one who represents the people before God and teaches God's ways to them and how they are to live. But to do this, he cannot do all the work with the people, so Moses is exhorted to select capable men -- and there are characteristics given to these men who will "judge" the Israelites -- men who fear God and are trustworthy.
This is similar to the instructions given to Timothy and Titus. Those evangelists are the primary teachers in their churches, and are told to appoint elders who would help with the work. The characteristics given for elders indicate that exemplary men of faith are to be chosen to help in this work. But the direction of leadership is consistently clear, from Old Testament to New, that leadership at all levels must be concerned with teaching people God's ways and leading them closer to him.