Leading like Solomon

What do you think should be on the top of the list of things a leader should pray for? Boldness, humility, strength, endurance?
King Solomon’s writings are a good place for any leader to look to for guidance when it comes to being a God-focused leader.
One of the areas that King Solomon leads us to as leaders, is of course wisdom.

I am of the belief that all leaders should be praying for wisdom more than anything else. Wisdom is more than knowledge. A wise leader can see farther than others. I know for myself, that is what I seek more than anything else on my journey as a leader: the ability to see farther than anyone else. It means that every decision that I make has the future in mind. If I make this decision, then I, and others are going to see and feel the the consequences of my decision. If I move this way or that way, if I say something or remain quiet, I see the impact down the line.

“Anyaele Sam Chiyson Leadership Law of Legacy: Supreme leaders determine where generations are going and develop outstanding leaders they pass the baton to.”
― Anyaele Sam Chiyson, The Sagacity of Sage

I know that I have made to many decisions in the moment, without ‘playing the movie to the end’. The reason that I have to ask God for wisdom every day, is because I make decisions that affect people’s lives. Every day, leaders make decisions that effect the Kingdom. Lets agree to pursue wisdom in our leadership.

Proverbs 8:15: “By me (wisdom) kings and queens reign…”
Solomon also speaks about integrity. Proverbs 16:12 says: “Kings detest wrongdoing, for a throne is established through righteousness”. Personal integrity is vital.

“What is left when honor is lost?”
— Publilius Syrus
First Century BC, Maxim 265

It feels at the moment that we have to go far and wide to find men and women in leadership who still have integrity. Leaders that are followers of Christ are held to a higher standard.

James 3:1:
“Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.”

As I write this, the papers are full of news about the newly elected Tanzanian President. He is a Christian who understands the principle of integrity, not only in his personal life, but also in his call to lead. Here’s an article I found on his first few days in office:

President John Magufuli has scrapped independence day celebrations to spend the money on a clean-up campaign, an official statement said. The president has instead decreed that on that day everybody should pick up their tools and clean their backyards.

“It is so shameful that we are spending huge amounts of money to celebrate 54 years of independence when our people are dying of cholera,” Magufuli said in a statement read on state television late Monday.
Last weekend the Tanzanian parliament was going to open and there was a state dinner planned for all guests that was going to cost about 300 million Shillings. President Magulufi cut the budget to 25 million Shillings and ordered that the rest be taken to buy hospital beds for Muhimbili. They got 300 beds and mattresses and 600 bed sheets from that money.
On Saturday 21st November 2015 a group of 50 people were about to set off for a tour of commonwealth countries but President Magulufi cut that list down to 4 people, saving government 600m shillings in tickets, accommodation etc.
It is said when John Magufuli was confirmed winner of the presidential election people started congratulating him and sent gifts to his place which he turned back, saying he will receive all congratulations over the phone and nobody should visit him.
Some other austerity measures include:
• No more foreign travel, embassies will take care of local matters; if it’s necessary to go, special permission must be sought from him or Chief Secretary
• No more 1st class and business class travel for all officials except President, Vice, and Prime Minister.
• No more workshops and seminars in expensive hotels when their so many ministry board rooms available.
• President Magulufi asked how come engineers are given V8s when a pick-up is more suitable for their jobs.
• No more sitting allowances: how are you paid allowance for a job which you have a monthly salary; that also applies to MP’s.
• All individuals/firms that bought state companies that were privatized but haven’t done anything (20years later) are to either revive the industries immediately or hand them back to the government.
Tanzanians say President Magulufi has literally pressed the reset button; returning Tanzania to default factory settings which was the Tanzania Julius Nyerere left.
On the day after he was brought to power, as State House officials were showing him around he decided to take a walk to the ministry of finance and told government workers to get their act together. He asked why some employees weren’t in offices and ordered the TRA to scrap all tax exemptions. Everyone must pay taxes especially the big guys
President Magulufi went to Muhimbili Hospital unannounced and walked through the worst parts that they keep hidden from important visitors and fired the director, the hospital board and ordered that all machines that weren’t working (so that people go to private hospitals owned by some doctors) to be repaired within 2 weeks otherwise he would fire even the new director. The machines were repaired in 3 days.
Finally, last week when going to officially open parliament President Magulufi didn’t go by plane but drove the whole 600km from Dar to Dodoma.
President Magulufi has reduced the size of the presidential convoy, even reduced the size of presidential delegation that travels with him.
President Magulufi chose a Prime Minister most had never heard of before, a man with a reputation for hard work and no corruption. All the big guys Tanzanians expected would be PM have been let wondering what hit them.
His motto is: Hapa Kazi Tu (Just Work)
Scource: Lusaka Times

In addition to wisdom and integrity, King Solomon also highlights the need for advisors. In Proverbs 11:14 he writes, “For lack of guidance a nation falls, but many advisors make victory sure”. Every effective leader needs advice and seeks advice. The ability to listen to the advice of others is the mark of a great leader.

When a king has good counselors, his reign is peaceful.
~Ashanti proverb

For the last 11 years, I have met on a Thursday morning for a Bible Study that I lead. The group is made up of mainly retired people who want to have a deeper understanding of God’s Word. I am convinced that they know far more than I do about God, but none of us are letting on. The reason why I mention that here is that there is not a major decision that I have made in the life of the church that I did not bring to them first for their council. Whether it was making a decision to have more than one service because we had out-grown the facility we were hiring after our first year, or whether we should move facilities, change service times, change the name of our church, begin our capital campaign to raise funds to build our church, or to accept the nomination for Bishop. They have been a pillar of strength to me. The success of this group is that they have no hidden agendas. They have occupied every possible position in the church, they are past standing on ceremony, or concerned about whether they will hurt my feelings if they said anything against me. They are brutally honest, love Jesus and have all gone to the University of life and have passed with distinctions. I continue to value them as my “good and wise councilors”.

Wise leaders are aware of their influence.
“I hold that a strongly marked personality can influence descendants for generations.”
― Beatrix Potter

Our only hope as leaders is that the influence we have on the generations that follow us, is a positive one. Leaders can use their influence to do such good. Unfortunately, we have witnessed the opposite of that way too often. As Proverbs 29:2 put it:”When the righteous thrive, people rejoice, when the wicked rule, people groan”.

Finally, I believe that leaders don’t need public approval. Proverbs 29:25 says, “It is dangerous to be concerned with what others think of you, but if you trust the LORD, you are safe.”

It is all too easy for leaders to fall into the trap of being people-pleasers; of desiring other’s approval, praise and admiration, but being a good leader, often means making hard or unpopular decisions. It means shifting people out of their comfort zones to move them forward. It means questioning and sometimes, shattering the status quo… and that doesn’t always go down well. True leadership always involves ruffling some feathers and making some people mad. Leaders who follow Jesus Christ, however, are reminded that we do not do anything for the approval of others. We live to serve only one Master and it is only His approval that matters. It is only when we can leave the clamour of the crowd behind and perform all our tasks for an audience of One that we will truly be able to lead effectively in God’s Kingdom.

Being a leader is a challenging journey – one that requires Godly wisdom, unquestionable integrity, good advisors, an awareness of influence and the desire to please God alone. I pray for more leaders like that, and I pray daily, that God would help me to be one. I truly believe that leaders like this, will change the world.