Where there is no wise guidance, the nation falls, but in the multitude of counselors there is victory.
Every leader should on occasion take the time to stop and ask themselves some important questions. Questions that probe the heart and ask the tough questions of our desire to lead
The Most Important person for me to lead is ___________?
I lead so _____________ ?
The most inspirational leader is _________________?
The Hardest Person for me to lead is _____________?
The Bible gives solid advice on a variety of subjects, leadership being one of them. The pages of scripture contain many stories of leaders both good and bad, and the inspired reflections of some of histories most famous figures. Today I have compiled just a few of these valuable lessons that will benefit leaders in any field.
1. Good Moral Character
The ancient and wise Israelite king Solomon once wrote:
“Keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life” (Proverbs 4:23).
In the Bible, the heart always refers to the seat of one’s consciousness and emotions. Today, we would describe those whose hearts are upright and pure as having good moral character.
Character epitomized the most celebrated of the Bible’s leaders, including Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Elijah, Hezekiah, Peter, and Paul. And in the Bible, character was measured primarily by one’s heart being humbly and sincerely turned toward God.
The importance of character was also underlined by arguably America’s greatest leader, when George Washington declared: “Purity of morals [is] the only sure foundation of public happiness in any country.”
2. Importance of Vision
King Solomon is credited with the famous saying: “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” (Proverbs 29:18a) When it comes to leadership, truer words have yet to be spoken. Effective leaders, by definition, are leading people in a direction. Knowing what direction to take is vital. Communicating the importance and value of that direction is what leaders do when they cast the vision.
The greatest leaders of the Bible, from Abraham to Moses and from David to Paul, all understood the importance of strategic vision. Even when they were unclear as to the specifics, they worked to keep the people focused on the hope and aspirations of where they were headed and for what they were striving.
3. Knowledge and Wisdom
The second book of Chronicles records God offering to give Solomon whatever the new king requested. Solomon asked for wisdom. God was pleased. According to II Chronicles, God replied:
11 Because this was in your heart, and you have not asked riches or wealth or honor or the life of your enemies, nor have you asked long life—but have asked wisdom and knowledge for yourself, that you may judge My people over whom I have made you king—
12 wisdom and knowledge are granted to you; and I will give you riches and wealth and honor, such as none of the kings have had who were before you, nor shall any after you have the like.”
The interesting thing is that it was Solomon’s newfound knowledge and wisdom that empowered him to receive God’s blessings of wealth and honor. The same is true for anyone today.
While you might get lucky in the lottery or an unexpected inheritance windfall, the truth is that most people will not acquire meaningful or stable wealth without wisdom. If you want to be a successful leader, you have to be knowledgeable and savvy.
The theme of perseverance in the Bible runs deep. Joseph was sold into slavery and later languished in Pharoah’s dungeons, before finally getting the opportunity to govern Egypt and deliver his people. Moses endured years in the desert, rejection by Pharoah (until the plagues temporarily swayed him), and then led the children of Israel – a frequently unruly lot – on a 40-year trek, before they could finally enter the Promised Land. Consider the challenges and obstacles that confronted Peter, Paul, and John. Or for that matter….Jesus.
Perseverance is a critical skill of leadership. If you aren’t able to keep leading toward your goals, when confronted with challenges and adversity, you will not succeed as a leader.
5. Incorporating Biblical Leadership Skills into Your Life
Mastering the skills of leadership requires that one begin with the qualities of leadership. And those qualities of leadership can all be seen in the pages of the Bible. A leader who exercises good moral character, casts a strategic vision, acquires knowledge and wisdom, and exemplifies perseverance will be one great leader indeed
But Jesus summoned them, and said, ““You know that the rulers of the nations lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you, but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. Whoever desires to be first among you shall be your bondservant,
even as the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.””