Wise leaders go boldly but not blindly into their future. Read Ecclesiastes 11:1-6.
The fast paced world of today’s leaders forces them to take calculated risks, proactively establish goals, and develop momentum toward those goals without all the facts. The demands on leaders to complete tasks and move on generally won’t allow them to wait for the perfect conditions before making a decision and taking action. Both the risks and moving forward before conditions are perfect are excursions into unexplored territory and will draw on a leader’s courage and discernment.
Job titles are meaningless if those who hold them are considered “fools” by their followers. Read Ecclesiastes 10:5-7.
Designing the organization is important. Properly filling the positions you have designed is critical. According to Jim Collins’ book Good to Great an organization must not only have the right people on the bus but the right people must also be in the right seats. Solomon calls it an “evil” to have the wrong people (fools) in positions of leadership.
Like the old E. F. Hutton commercial, when a leader gains a reputation for having wisdom, people listen. Read Ecclesiastes 9:17.
Wisdom is elusive, and often seems to be in short supply among leaders. Some leaders are well-informed, some highly educated, crafty, or shrewd but few manifest the quiet depth of true wisdom. The fact that wisdom is not widespread among leaders is tied directly to human pride. Leaders are bent to find wisdom on their own, they assume it comes with age and experience or they feel that completing certain types of tasks, or specific courses of study is their way to wisdom but these are tied to human effort. According to James 1:5, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him,” God is the source of wisdom.
The leaders who exert power but refuse to serve hurt themselves, their organization, and their team. Read Ecclesiastes 8:9.
The self-centered, self-serving leader is so common that virtually everyone has experienced the negative conditions they create in the workplace or in their family. The reason the problem is so pervasive is every one of us carry in us some of the desires that drive the self-serving leader.
Every leader has some authority and must also submit to authority. Read Ecclesiastes 8:1-9.
John Maxwell has some interesting notes in The Maxwell Leadership Bible on authority and servanthood:
Solomon reminds us about our relationship to leaders above us. We are to submit to them, not because the person deserves it, but because the office deserves it and God decrees it.
And what about leaders in authority? Solomon also issues a warning. When leaders try to exercise authority without a servant’s heart, they eventually hurt themselves. Consider what he says:
|Role of the follower||Role of the leader|
|1. Submit to God-given authority.||1. Exercise authority with wisdom and caution.|
|2. Trust God to accomplish His purpose.||2. Recognize no human controls all of life.|
|3. Don’t quit or become divisive.||3. Lead others by serving not bossing them.|
Romans 13:1 Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.