Scripture Passage: 1 Samuel 28:3-10
Bad Leaders are a People of Double Standard
Prior to Saul’s death, he consulted with a witch, contrary to the law. He sought her at night and under disguise. Initially, she feared that she would be put to death but Saul said to her, “As the Lord liveth, there shall no punishment happen to thee for this thing.” In other words, as long as she was serving him, her activities were no longer illegal.
The lesson here is this; bad leaders are a people of double standard. For them what is sauce for the goose is not sauce for the gander. They see themselves as being above the law and will break it when it suits them. They have two sets of laws, one for themselves and one for everyone else. Saul drove from the land, all who had familiar spirits so the people wouldn’t consult them. However, when God ceased to speak to him, he consulted with a witch. This is clearly double standard.
Prayer: Father, help me to live a life of integrity.
Today’s lesson is taken from my new book, “Leadership Lessons from the Life of Saul. Follow the link below to download your copy. It is free for a limited period. https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/589453
Scripture Passage: Matthew 4:1-11
All Leaders Will Be Tempted to Quit
Jesus was enticed at the commencement of His ministry to abandon the pursuit of His vision. The Bible says, “Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.” Everything He learned in preparation for His mission was proved. All that He believed was put to the test. However, He emerged triumphant, for, as the Bible says, “Then the devil leaveth him, and behold, angels came and ministered unto him.”
The lesson here is this; all leaders will be tempted to quit. If you have a dream, or vision, then you can be sure that life will tempt you to discard it. If you do, you will never see the fulfilment of the same. If you persist, life will eventually give in and let you have it. Your ability to hold on in the midst of life’s examination is proof of your convictions and verification that you are deserving of your desire.
Prayer: Father, help me to stay true to my vision.
Scripture Passage: Matthew 5:1-48
Leaders Are Teachers
Jesus was a leader with a vision to save mankind and He began by teaching. The Bible says, “And seeing the multitudes, He went up into a mountain; and when He was set, His disciples came unto Him; and He opened His mouth, and taught them…” He commenced His ministry, by teaching those He led.
The lesson here is this; leaders are teachers. And training is the medium through which leaders transfer their values, philosophies and ultimately vision to those they lead. In my opinion, no leader has any business disciplining those he has not trained. When they step out of line, the first question he ought to ask himself is, “have they been trained?” In the same vein, no leader has any business placing people he has not trained in positions of authority as this is usually a recipe for disaster. The leader whose vision will outlive him is the leader who recognises that he is amongst other things a teacher.
Prayer: Father, help me to empower others via training.
Scripture Passage: Matthew 2:1-16
Insecure Leaders Are Driven by Fear
Following the birth of Jesus, certain wise men approached Herod, saying, “Where is he that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.” Herod was troubled at their words. He feared he would be ousted by the child that was born. That fear drove him to kill all the babies in Bethlehem, and the coasts, from two years and under.
The lesson here is this; insecure leaders are driven by fear. They live in fear that some person is going to usurp them. Therefore, instead of adding value to others, they pull others down. They believe that the rise of another is their fall and will do everything in their power to stop others rising. You cannot point to one person they have empowered but you can point to many that they have suppressed, oppressed, exploited and persecuted. Make no mistake, an insecure leader is a dangerous person.
Prayer: Father, help me to be a secure leader.
Scripture Passage: Proverbs 6:6-8
Authentic Leaders Require No Leader
The Bible says; “Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.”
The lesson here is this; authentic leaders require no leader. The ants have no leader but they are able to achieve their goals. They are self-starters. They know the way and require no direction. They are self-disciplined and require no supervision. They are self-motivated and need no motivation. They make no excuses for or focus on their handicap. They are small but they are determined. They go out to work despite the fact that they could easily be trampled under feet. They worry not about their size or the fact that they have no guide as these are factors outside their control. Rather, they devise a means to achieve their goals despite their challenges. These are without any doubt the attributes of an authentic leader. The good news is; you too can become an authentic leader.
Prayer: Father, help me to learn a lesson from the ants.
Scripture Passage: Proverbs 1:7
Foolish Leaders Never Learn
The Bible says, “but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Do you know anyone like this? Someone who won’t listen to wise counsel or take heed to instruction? Unfortunately, many in leadership positions are like this.
The lesson here is this; foolish leaders never learn. They hate words of wisdom and they never take heed to instruction. Therefore, they are constantly in trouble. They do not learn from their bad experiences and they do not learn from the bad experiences of others. They may have mentors but they never heed the instructions of their mentors. They are fools, and best left alone. The Bible says in Proverbs 23:9, “Speak not in the ears of a fool: for he will despise the wisdom of thy words.” Nabal was a foolish leader and his servant said concerning him, “he is such a son of Belial, that a man cannot speak to him.” Foolish leaders reject wisdom and instruction and so they never become great leaders.
Prayer: Father, help me to embrace wisdom and instruction.
Scripture Passage: Proverbs 1:5
Wise Leaders Are Learners
The Bible says, “A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels.”
The lesson here is this; wise leaders are learners. They learn daily. They recognise that those who stop learning stop growing and start depreciating. Wise leaders also recognise that people only follow leaders who are able to add value to them. And no one can add value to another unless he has first added value to himself via learning. Wise leaders have a plan to develop themselves and they follow that plan to the letter. Wise leaders are men (and women) who value and pay attention to wise counsel. Do you adhere to wise counsel? Are you learning? Do you have a plan for personal growth? No one grows by accident. Wise leaders recognise this truth.
Prayer: Father, give me the grace to be a learner.
Scripture Passage: Job 2:1-13
Leaders Will Be Criticised
When Job lost his children and all that he had, including his health, his friends, Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar came to visit him. The purpose of their visit was to mourn with him and comfort him. However, if you are familiar with Job’s story, you already know that this purpose was not achieved as these men soon began to criticise Job. They seemed to be under the impression that Job must have done something very bad to suffer such affliction. Job did not need their criticism but he got it all the same.
The lesson here is this; leaders will be criticised. Therefore, get used to it. Leaders must recognise that criticism comes with the territory. And criticism is not necessarily a bad thing. But, they need to have the maturity and security in themselves to handle criticism correctly. After Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar criticised Job, he prayed for them.
Prayer: Father, give me the grace to respond positively to criticism, that I may become better and not bitter.
Scripture Passage: Matthew 23:1-4
Dishonest Leaders Demand that Others Meet Standards They Are Unwilling to Meet
In teaching the multitude and His disciples, Jesus said, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not. For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.” These leaders were two-faced. Jesus frowned at this.
The lesson here is this; dishonest leaders demand that others meet standards they are unwilling to meet. If the leader can’t make the grade, he has no moral justification to demand this of others. To do otherwise bothers on hypocrisy and a lack of integrity. And people are more willing to follow leaders who recommend principles that have worked for them.
Prayer: Father, give me the grace to be a good example to those I lead.
Scripture Passage: Nehemiah 1:1-11
Leadership Begins When We Accept Responsibility
Nehemiah was a captive but became a leader. When he heard that the walls of Jerusalem were broken down and the gates burnt with fire and he decided to return and re-build the walls. He was not the first Jew to learn of the broken down walls, there were Jews living in Jerusalem when the walls were destroyed, including those who took the news to Nehemiah in a strange land. However, none took responsibility for its restoration. They probably thought, “if I didn’t break it why should I fix it?” That is a follower’s attitude. And so Nehemiah became their leader.
The lesson here is this; leadership begins when we accept responsibility. And this is for ourselves and our actions, and for others. Those who shy away from responsibility never become leaders, at best they may occupy leadership positions but they will never obtain the influence that makes a leader. Accepting responsibility is the way up. Begin today to embrace responsibility.
Prayer: Father, give me the grace to accept responsibility.