Leadership Based on Biblical Principles - 7 Leadership Lessons from King Solomon
King Solomon was the third monarch of Ancient Israel. The history of King Solomon's reign is found in the Old Testament section of the Christian Bible in the Books of First Kings and Second Chronicles. In the Bible, King Solomon was known as the wisest man of all time who attracted many important dignitaries to visit him. Some of his wise proverbs and other observations about life are found in the Bible Books called Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Songs (otherwise referred to as the Song of Solomon). Besides his wisdom, King Solomon was also known for his grand building projects including (a) the Temple in Israel's ancient capital Jerusalem and a number of ornate palaces and (b) his many wives; both of which resulted in trouble in the latter years of his reign and for the future of the Kingdom of Israel. This hub reveals seven leadership lessons gleaned from the life and sayings of King Solomon.
Effective Leadership Seeks Knowledge and Wisdom over Fame and Fortune
The first leadership lesson from King Solomon is that effective leaders seek personal wisdom and knowledge over fame and fortune (1 Kings 3). Soon after Solomon was appointed King of Israel, the LORD God Almighty appeared to him in a dream and promised to give the young king whatever he asked for. In response to God's promise, Solomon asked for the wisdom to effectively lead the people of Israel. God blessed the young king for asking for wisdom and not fortune and fame and gave him all three.
Many go into business these days to make their fortune and perhaps be famous someday. The effective leader knows that fortune and fame can only come by way of knowledge and skill and the wsdom to use them in relevant manners that propel their business forward.
Effective Leadership Recruits Wise Counselors
The second leadership principle from King Solomon is that effective leaders recruit wise counselors to advise them in all matters of the business or organization. King Solomon wrote "with many advisors there is success" (Proverbs 24:6). This means that good leaders are not afraid to hire people who know more than them. More than that, they are active listeners and humble to heed the advice of their subordinates.
Effective Leadership Promotes Integrity within Their Organizations
The third leadership lesson from King Solomon is effective leaders promote integrity within their organizations. The wise king of Israel wrote: "Kings detest wrongdoing, for a throne is established through righteousness. Kings take pleasure in honest lips; they value a man who speaks the truth" (Proverbs 16;12,13). Integrity breeds trust; trust results in a deeper bond; and a deeper bond often leads to long-term customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Effective Leadership Remain Alert
Effective leaders remain alert is the fourth leadership lesson from King Solomon. Sometimes, after a business or organization has been built up, the leaders will begin to let up. They begin to relax and allow the operations to run on autopilot. The king of Israel observed, "to search out a matter is the glory of kings" (Proverbs 25:2). This verse suggests that effective leaders remain alert and keep themselves abreast of what is going on in their business and organization.
Effective Leadership Confronts and Eliminates Divisive Subordinates
The fifth leadership lesson from King Solomon is that effective leaders confront and eliminate divisive naysayers. Poor attitudes can become a cancer that will eventually tear apart an organization. The best leaders guard their organizations from those with such poor attitudes. Solomon wrote: "Remove the dross from the silver, and out comes material for the silversmith; remove the wicked from the king's presence, and his throne will be established through righteousness" (Proverbs 25:3,4).
This does not mean that good leaders write off naysayers at the first sign of trouble. No effective leaders try to see the potential in every subordinate and take initial steps to help them succeed. However, when push comes to shove, good leaders are not afraid to stand up to those who refuse to conduct themselves in appropriate ways.
Effective Leadership Practices Self-Control in Their Personal Lives
The sixth leadership principle from King Solomon is effective leaders practice self-control in their personal lives. Even though he was named the wisest person on earth, King Solomon did not always act in the wisest manner. During his reign, he acquired a harem of 700 wives and 300 concubines. While most of those wives and concubines were gifts from kings from other neghboring nations, they eventually led King Solomon astray and forced him to erect shrines to foreign idols. Solomon's indiscretions caused his descendants to stumble and the Kingdom of Israel to be torn apart during his son's reign after him.
Effective Leadership Employs Vision to Inspire and Lead Their Organizations
Solomon wrote "for lack of vision a people perish." Thus, the seventh leadership principle from King Solomon is effective leaders inspire and lead through a compelling vision. Perhaps, this principle should be placed in the second position above for much leadership wisdom literature cites purpose and vision as a major key to effective organizations. It seems that most everyone wants to be apart of something larger than themselves. Effective leadership lead by crafting a compelling purpose and vision.
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