In the past four months we looked at
leadership lessons from Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel. This month we
look at Daniel—a prophet during a time of the Jews captivity in Babylon.
Here are three lessons we can learn from him.
Don’t Compromise Your Beliefs and
Values. Study the lives of those who both rose and fell in their
leadership power, and you will find the most common reason for decline
is they did not stay true to their beliefs and values. Failure of
leaders in government, corporations, businesses, church, family, and in
any other areas lose respect, influence, and effectiveness when they
compromise their beliefs and values. Leaders must resist the urge to
place power, prestige, and material possessions ahead of doing the right
thing. At the time, it may seem worth it, but when my friends and
associates reflect on their lives, the happy and fulfilled ones stayed
true; no one says, “I am pleased that I went against what I knew was
right.” At no time did Daniel compromise his beliefs and values.
Demonstrate Discernment and Discretion.
Discernment is the ability to determine what is ethical and right.
Discretion is what leaders demonstrate when they take the high moral
road consistent with what is ethical. The result is Integrity. A
leader without integrity will be a leader without dedicated followers;
and those who do follow will not trust the leader and will be looking
either for a way to get rid of the leader or get away from him or her. A
leader must demonstrate both discernment and discretion to be a leader
of integrity. Daniel 2:14-21 shows Daniel was a leader who demonstrated
Use Your Influence in a Positive
Manner. To paraphrase the highly respected and often quoted, John
Maxwell, leadership is all about influence. While this may be an
overstatement or oversimplification, it is true that leaders influence
others. Influence sets effective leaders apart from ineffective ones.
The book of Daniel (especially such passages as 2:17-18, 49 and 3:16
ff.) attest to Daniel’s ability to influence positively.
Leaders must hold true to their beliefs
and values, show discernment and discretion, and be a positive influence
on the people they lead and the organizations they serve.