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January 2013 - Three More Leadership Lessons from Isaiah

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John A. Kline, PhD jkline@klinespeak.com
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Dr. John Kline

Last month, I mentioned three college courses I am developing on Leadership Lessons from the Bible.  One course is on the books of prophecy.  Last month we discussed three leadership lessons from Isaiah—easily remembered by the words: Call, Confidence, and Commitment.  This month I will present three more leadership lessons from Isaiah. 

Servant Leadership.  The Lord called Isaiah to be His servant (Isaiah 49:6). Other Old Testament personalities called to servant leadership included: Abraham (Genesis 26:24), Moses (Exodus 14:31), Joshua (Exodus 33:11), Caleb (Numbers 14:24), Samuel (1 Samuel 3:9), and Elijah (2 Kings 9:36).  The greatest servant in the Bible was Jesus Christ, who came not to be served, but to serve others (Mark 10:45). Many previous columns discussed servant leadership either explicitly or implicitly; e.g. October 2007, July 2008 and April 2012. The lesson is this: Leaders must serve others and the organization.

Integrity.  Walk and talk with integrity or pay the price (Isaiah 33:14-15).  The word “integrity” is used often to describe a quality we expect in leaders.  We can understand its meaning by realizing the word “integrity” comes from the Latin word integer meaning whole or complete.  Therefore, a leader demonstrates integrity by being a whole person—one that does not say one thing, and do another.  The old phrase “what you see is what you get” describes a person with integrity.  Quite simply, integrity is the quality of being honest, upright, and of strong moral character—a person of wholeness and probity, rather than one demonstrating dishonesty and duplicity.  The lesson is this: Leaders must display absolute integrity in words and deed.

Communication.  Words should not return empty without them being accomplished. (Isaiah 55:11)  Many previous columns focused on communication. Effective communication is simply “an effective sharing of meaning.”  That is, leaders and followers understand both the verbal and nonverbal communication between them. As I wrote in a recently published article, “If you can’t communicate, don’t try to lead.”  If you are a servant leader with integrity and the ability to communicate, others will understand; and they will follow.  The lesson is this: Leaders must communicate effectively.

Servant Leadership, Integrity, and Communication are all crucial for effective leadership.

John Kline
Montgomery, Alabama
jkline@klinespeak.com

January 2013 - Three More Leadership Lessons from Isaiah
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