These books contain many leadership
lessons, but here are three every leader should learn.
Romans: Leaders understand the
importance of relationships. In the first eleven chapters, Paul
gives a clear explanation of doctrine and theology. The remaining five
chapters apply the doctrine and theology to life now. Chapter twelve
opens with Paul saying the message of the gospel should transform us.
Then verses three through twenty-one tell how we are to relate to
others. The list includes, but is not limited to humility; using our
gifts; being loving, kind, diligent, hopeful, patient, and empathic; and
overcoming evil with good. These character traits are not limited to
religious faith, but apply to all human interaction and are crucial for
effective leadership. Theodore Roosevelt said, "The most important
single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along
with people." This statement applies especially to leaders.
First Corinthians: Leaders build
unity and community. Paul begins by stressing the importance of
unity or what we often refer to today as building community and the
realization that all persons in an organization need to pool their
resources and skills. Paul re-emphasizes this point in chapter twelve
by comparing the church to the human body with its many parts. Leaders
must build team unity and community. Pulling together as community is
crucial for the well-being of all groups and organizations—families,
clubs, corporations, and nations. Consider these words: “We the People
of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union . . . “ And
we are “ . . . one nation, under God, indivisible . . .” The founders
and earlier leaders of the United States of America had it
Second Corinthians: Leaders don’t
let discouragement defeat them. Paul had reason to be discouraged,
but he summed up the right response: “We are hard pressed on every
side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but
not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. (4:8-9). Once leaders set
out on a thought-out vision and course of action, they need to be like
woodpeckers who just keep on pecking till they get the job done. Years
ago I heard Norman Vincent Peale speak at the civic center in
Montgomery, Alabama, He said, “Don’t let discouragement lead to negative
thinking. Think positive; it is always too soon to quit!"
Leaders must build relationships;
build community; and defeat discouragement.