Leadership is an amazing position of responsibility. As a man, you are created with purpose to be a leader. You are responsible to lead your family and often to be a leader at work or in the community. Fortunately, the last several years have provided a wealth of resources to expose us to leadership principles that have helped us manage and lead great organizations. We have seminars, lectures, books, and symposiums that we can attend to sharpen our leadership skills.
However, few of these resources will deal with the character of the leader. Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived gives some very challenging insight into four qualities of a leader. His advise is priceless.
A leader must possess a practical application of intellect. Wisdom is winning experience. It is the ability to navigate through the difficulties of life with minimal harm. Wisdom understands relationship management as well as practical organizational direction.
As a father, you need wisdom to raise children through the tumultuous challenges of the “terrible-two’s” as well as the “hormonal-horrible’s” and the “drama of teens”.
As a business leader, you need wisdom to lead your company through the seasonal ebb and flow of cash flows and employee staff turn-over.
Although, we didn’t hear much about prudence in the irrational exuberance of the 90’s and the wild speculative days of the 2000’s, prudence is now in vogue. Prudence is carefully calculating risk and reward. Without risk there will be no reward (see recent post of Phil Cook’s article). It is showing restraint. It is as simple as watching your step or plotting your course of action. Solomon said, “A prudent man roasts his game.” This means that you are grateful and celebratory toward your income.
We may need to show more prudence when it comes to the car that we drive. Cars have become very expensive. Purchasing a brand new car when you drive thousands of miles a year may not be the most prudent purchase that you can make. Buying a quality used car may be more prudent.
Leading with prudence will help your family or your team in many ways. They will follow your lead. I know a major corporation that makes billions of dollars by being prudent. They had the opportunity to buy a world-class building just a few miles from their present headquarters. Although they could have purchased the building for pennies on the dollar – they refused to buy it because of its elaborate architecture. Their prudent image would be effected by the opulence.
A leader MUST be a learner. If you are going to lead your family or your company you must be a life-long learner. There is no getting around it. Reading is a daily requirement. Enlarging your vocabulary, expanding your worldly knowledge, becoming a specialist is an ever-increasing mandate on you. Don’t ever think that you’ve arrived, there is so much more to learn. Stretch yourself to learn new programs, explore new technologies, and step out of your comfort zone of learning.
The ability to show discretion is a lost art yet it is one of the most endearing qualities in good leaders. The Bible says, “It is in the heart of God to conceal a matter.” Isn’t it interesting that God shows discretion toward us? He doesn’t expose us and shame us every time we goof up or make a mistake. Don’t get me wrong. If we are arrogantly in sin and inauthentic in our character, we will be exposed. The Closet Principle teaches, “what you do in secret, moves you in public.” Yet, discretion is a policy of conduct among gentlemen.
Discretion also knows how to keep our mouth closed. It knows when we should refrain from speaking. Proverbs says, “Even a fool seems wise with his mouth shut.”