Decision making is one of leadership’s core competencies. The ability of a leader to make good decisions in a timely manner differentiates between poor and good, and between good and great leaders. Read Nehemiah 1:1-11.
Nehemiah was faced with a huge challenge. The walls of Jerusalem were in disrepair, and the returned exiles were vulnerable and disheartened. Nehemiah used some elements of decision making that can help any leader facing the next major decision:
Effective leaders see a better future for their organization and act upon that vision. They demonstrate courage based on conviction and make the hard decisions needed to bring about change. Read 2 Chronicles 34.
“Neither before nor after Josiah was there a king like him who turned to the Lord as he did – with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength, in accordance with all the law of Moses” (2 Kings 23:25). Josiah “walked in the ways of his father David, not turning to the right or to the left” (2 Chronicles 34:2). Now that is a legacy every Christian leader would love to have.
It cannot be stated too strongly or too often that living a godly life and demonstrating godly leadership requires extraordinary courage. Read 1 Kings 17:1 and 18:16-40.
Elijah was a prophet of the one true God and he lived in the northern kingdom during the time of King Ahab’s rule. Since Ahab had chosen to serve other gods, there was continual conflict between Elijah and Ahab. Even though Elijah knew he served the one true God, he was also aware that prophets then, as Christians are today, can be martyred for the one they serve. Once Jezebel, Ahab’s wife, had imported prophets of the god she served from her home country of Tyre, the conflict between Elijah, God’s spokesperson, and Ahab escalated.
Leaders need wisdom to make informed and judicious decisions. We tend to think wisdom is something gained only through years of experience and to some extent this is true. If a leader pays attention and learns from successes and failures they will make better decisions based on experience and display a form of wisdom. But there is more to gaining wisdom than experience. Read 1 Kings 3.
Solomon had just become king of Israel taking over from his father David. He had big shoes to fill and like it or not would be evaluated and judged by his first decisions. A young man without experience being held to the standard of excellence of an experienced wise leader! Only a man endowed with God’s wisdom from the first days of his reign would have the ability to succeed in this situation.
In virtually every survey ever taken, integrity is consistently identified as the most desired trait of a leader. Every team member wants assurance that their leader can be trusted to follow through on their promises and commitments. Read 1 Samuel 12:1-4.
Israel’s high regard for Samuel comes as no surprise. During his farewell speech, after having led Israel for decades, Samuel promised to repay anything he had unjustly taken from anyone. What a promise! Even more impressive was the people’s response: Not one person rose up to make a claim against Samuel.