The Proverbs have an amazing, even dazzling array of wisdom, I have been wanting to glean a series from Proverbs. There is so much there for so many areas our lives. Please note, these are ‘leadership’ lessons from the Proverbs—not ‘spiritual’ lessons from the Proverbs. Applying the scriptures to all areas of life, not just spiritual. Don’t be upset if you don’t get the takeaway I see from a leadership perspective. Look at it from a life-growth point-of-view. Enjoy!
Understanding comes from knowledge; wisdom from applied knowledge; success from continually applying wisdom.
The beginning of Proverbs is a call to get understanding—to get wisdom. In the John Maxwell Team we have a similar mantra, “Get good first.” Good leadership requires that we have knowledge. To gain new knowledge every day. Growth is essential—even mandatory—to being a great leader. The purpose of the proverbs is to give those that are lacking it, the knowledge needed to succeed in life—to gain wisdom. Likewise, Level 5 leaders grow other leaders to grow other leaders. Growth is paramount to leadership; learning what has transpired before; getting discernment and discretion—and applying it.
Character is key. Likewise, your inner circle will determine a lot of who you are.
The first warning calls us to not throw in with those with bad character—those plotting evil. The Law of the Ladder and The Law of The Inner Circle come into play right away (from the 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership). Character (Law of the Ladder) is the starting point of all great leaders. Without it we fall and take our organizations—and lives—into ruins. We may have success for a short while, but lack of character and lack of honesty will soon bring it all down. In many studies, honesty is what most teams want from their leaders. Character is key. Likewise, your inner circle will determine a lot of who you are. Author and entrepreneur Jim Rohn said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Character matters—surround yourself with people that will take you up—not pull you down.
Finally, it’s a warning—if you don’t gain knowledge, calamity is sure to come and you will not be able to recover. While the proverb is talking about godly wisdom and knowledge, it holds true for all wisdom. We eat of the fruit of our own ways—good fruit to those that embrace the good fruit, and bad fruit to their possessors. Those not getting the knowledge they need will not succeed, and the complacency of fools, those not applying the knowledge they do get, will be their downfall.
Reflection: Where are we lacking in knowledge? Do we hate knowledge? Are we afraid to get knowledge? Do we just want to do and not get the knowledge we need to do well?