Do you apply careful thought to every leadership situation? (186-5)
Being an effective leader requires careful thought that leads to wisdom. Read Haggai 2:10-19.
The Hebrews that returned from exile in Babylon with the mission to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem were struggling in their day-to-day life to have success with their crops. Three times in today’s Scripture Haggai recommends the leaders give careful thought to their situation. When they stopped construction on the temple and focused on their own needs they were lacking in both food and wine. When they stopped giving careful thought to God’s priorities they forfeited the wisdom they needed to find God’s blessing.
Every leader needs the wisdom that comes from careful thought. Wisdom is the practical application of knowledge. It is the answer to the “how” question. Wisdom is the ability to make sensible decisions and judgments based on personal knowledge or experience. Wisdom allows the leader to find the best means at the best time to accomplish the best ends. It is not merely a matter of information or knowledge but the skillful and practical application of careful thinking to the ordinary facets of life. When a leader thinks about a situation or task long enough, they use the power of focused attention to reveal its secrets. Wisdom comes from the application of sustained careful thinking.
A few elements that will help leaders think carefully on their path to gaining wisdom:
- Don’t accept information at face value.
- Don’t strive only to answer questions but seek to ask questions.
- Remember that prominence does not equate to importance.
- Check the source of information, use new sources to gather different information, determine which sources are most credible, and weight your decisions on the most credible source.
- Look for exceptions, make comparisons, and be ready to change your mind if the evidence changes.
- Make appropriate use of statistics, particularly where subjective judgments are likely to dominate.
- Beware of making assumptions, don’t jump to conclusions, and look for cause and effect.
- Brainstorm your ideas, welcome corrections, suggestions and constructive criticism.
- Be aware of your own preferences that might affect your judgment.
Haggai challenged the Hebrews to think carefully, to “consider how things were before one stone was laid on another in the Lord’s temple” (v. 15). He knew they would not find God’s wisdom without careful thinking. Effective, wise leadership requires a leader to apply careful thought to every situation.
Ecclesiastes 12:9 “Not only was the Teacher wise, but also he imparted knowledge to the people. He pondered and searched out and set in order many proverbs.”
Tags: Application, Ask Questions, Assumptions, Careful thinking, Careful Thought, Check sources of information, Constructive Criticism, God's Priorities, Information, Information at face value, Knowledge, Personal Preferences, Practical Application, Wisdom
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