When Saul’s servant suggested that they go to see the man of God, Saul confessed that he was unprepared. He had spent all he had and had nothing left to give the man of God. The servant, who in my opinion was the real leader as far as the journey went, had not spent all he had. Therefore, he saved the day as he had something they could give to the man of God.
The lesson here is this; Bad leaders are never prepared. Bad leaders are never prepared. They spend everything they have keeping nothing aside for the proverbial rainy day when it will be required. They do not think or plan ahead. They are not proactive and as such they find that they are always reacting to life’s circumstances as it catches them unaware and unprepared every time.
When the servant of Saul suggested that they visit a seer, Saul almost discouraged the young man with his negativity. He said, “what shall we bring the man…the bread is spent……there is not a present……what have we?”
The lesson here is this; Bad leaders are full of excuses. This is the result of being negative. They accept defeat even before they begin. They look at what is not available. They see impossibilities instead of possibilities. They tell you that it cannot be done and proceed to tell you why it cannot be done, even before they have tried.
Prayer: Father, give me the grace to be positive and to see opportunities where others see problems.
Saul was seeking his father’s missing asses. He had travelled some distance without any finding them and was going to turn back just at the point where he would not only find the missing asses but a throne as king of Israel. The Bible says, “And the asses of Kish Saul’s father were lost. And Kish said to Saul his son, take now one of the servants with thee, and arise, go seek the asses. And he passed through mount Ephraim, and …..when they were come to the land of Zuph, Saul said to his servant that was with him, Come, and let us return……”
The lesson here is this; A bad leader is a quitter. And these people usually quit just at the edge of a breakthrough. They do not have what it takes to persevere to the end. A person who quits does not have what it takes to lead first himself and then others. He will not be a successful leader. Saul was a quitter even before he became king of Israel. Interestingly, his lack of perseverance almost made him lose the throne even before it was his. He was close to finding the lost asses and becoming king of Israel when he made a decision to turn back. Fortunately, he had a wise servant who would not let him turn back without completing the assignment.
Good Leaders Describe Their People Not as They Are but As They Can Be
Peter was the disciple who denied Jesus in front of a little girl. He was what you would call lily livered and unstable, but this is not what Jesus called him. Jesus said to Peter, “thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Jesus chose to call Peter a rock and although Peter was nothing like a rock initially, he eventually became a rock-solid follower of Jesus. Jesus knew that the words of a king carry power for performance.
The lesson here is this; Good leaders describe their people not as they are but as they can be. They understand that with their mouths they can shape their team and team members. Therefore, they are mindful of what they say. They do not talk down their followers. When they open their mouths, their words build up, they do not tear down. What are you saying about those you lead? Remember, you shall have whatsoever you say.
Prayer: Father, help me to choose my words carefully when speaking about those I lead.
A Wise Leader Does Not Repeat the Mistake of His Predecessor
Moses sent out 12 spies to search the land of Canaan. On their return, the Bible says, “And they went and came to Moses, and to Aaron, and to all the congregation of the children of Israel, unto the wilderness of Paran, to Kadesh; and brought back word unto them, and unto all the congregation.” Ten had a negative report which threw the congregation into chaos. Moses had failed to manage the situation well. He sent the spies out, they should have reported to him privately. After the death of Moses, Joshua became Israel’s leader. He sent out two spies, secretly, and the Bible says, “So the two men returned, and descended from the mountain, and passed over, and came to Joshua the son of Nun, and told him all things that befell them.” Notice that Joshua sent them out secretly and on their return, they reported to him, privately. Obviously, Joshua had learnt from Moses’ mistake.
The lesson here is this; a wise leader does not repeat the mistake of his predecessor. If he does, he has learnt nothing from his predecessor’s mistake. Possibly because he was too critical of his predecessor’s mistake to learn anything from it. This is bad followership and results in bad leadership. A wise leader is never critical or judgemental of his predecessor. He learns in quietness and as such avoids making a similar mistake.
Prayer: Father, help me to learn in quietness to avoid making my predecessor’s mistakes.
Jesus said to His disciples, “Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations. And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me;That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”
The lesson here is this; secure leaders reward hard work and excellence. They are not afraid to let their people shine. They are not afraid to share the stage. Jesus was a secure leader, He was not afraid to reward His followers by placing them on thrones. Are you a secure leader?
The People Will Live Up to Their Leader’s Expectation of Them
Today, I was in church for a double celebration. It was our Christmas day service. It was also our end of the month / year thanksgiving service. The church was unusually full as three services were merged into one service. As the service was coming to an end, the pastor appealed to members to be orderly as they left the premises and take instructions from members of the traffic control department. He said something like this, “I know you are orderly people and that is why I am pleased to be your pastor. If you see any visitor breaking being disorderly please tell them that we don’t behave that way here.” In others words he was expressing confidence in his people to behave well. And they did.
The lesson here is this; the people will live up to their leader’s expectation of them. This works whatever that expectation may be. If you’re a leader who expresses confidence in your people to behave properly, they will strive not to let you down. And if you are a leader who expresses a lack of confidence in your people to behave properly, they will also strive not to let you down. So, what is it going to be leaders?
Prayer: Father, help me to be a leader that expresses confidence in those I lead.