ILM #026: Watch Out for the Careless Worker

 

Today in our Inspired Leadership Minute I want us to look at Proverbs 18:9: One who is slack in his work is brother to one who destroys.”           

This proverb is pretty straightforward. Here Solomon is saying a person whose work is careless or sloppy is as bad as someone who intentionally destroys what has been built.

What does this mean for us as leaders today?

Solomon’s equating the person who does sloppy work with someone who intentionally destroys as harsh, but think about it.

We don’t tolerate people in our organizations who purposely destroy what we are working to build because they impede the progress of the organization.

What about the person or is careless or sloppy in their work? Their work has to be corrected or completely redone. You expend precious additional resources to make up for their sloppy work.

Everybody makes mistakes. Goodness knows I’ve made gazillions of them over the course of my career. So let’s be gracious as leaders and help people correct mistakes they make and learn from them.

But when the need arises, and someone is habitually careless or sloppy in their work, it is best to find other work that suits them better, or even help them find a new career.

That’s it for this week’s Inspired Leadership Minute. My prayer is that together we will be the powerful, inspired leaders God intends us to be!

Please leave me a comment and let me know how this week’s Inspired Leadership Minute inspired you!

ILM #025: Beware the Smooth-Talker and the Lying Leader

Today in our Inspired Leadership Minute I want us to look at Proverbs 17:7: Arrogant lips are unsuited to a fool– how much worse lying lips to a ruler!”

There is a lot to unpack in this proverb!

The phrase “arrogant lips” literally means “lips of excess” referring to someone who talks too much. The Hebrew word for “fool” means someone who lacks spiritual perception or understanding.

So the first half of this proverb, “arrogant lips are unsuited to a fool” refers to someone who talks too much and doesn’t know what they are talking about.

The second half of the proverb, “how much worse lying lips to a ruler” warns of the ruler or leader who lies. In this case, Solomon says a lying leader is even worse than the fool who talks too much!

What does this mean for us as leaders today?

Christian leaders, be wary of men who talk a lot but clearly lack spiritual perception. These men are especially dangerous because often they are eloquent, persuasive speakers.

Also, be wary of any leader or official who lies. A leader should be a man or woman of integrity, honest, and trustworthy. A leader who lies does not have integrity and does not deserve our trust!

That’s it for this week’s Inspired Leadership Minute. My prayer is that together we will be the powerful, inspired leaders God intends us to be!

Please leave me a comment and let me know how this week’s Inspired Leadership Minute inspired you!

ILM #024: Loving Others Brings Peace — Most of the Time

Today in our Inspired Leadership Minute I want us to look at Proverbs 16:7: “When a man’s ways please the LORD, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.”

Like many proverbs, this one is generally true but there are exceptions. When you fulfill the command to love your enemies you will be able to make peace with many, but there will be those that reject you and the peace of the Lord.

Certainly, when you behave in ways that please the Lord, He will care for you in this world or the next, or both.

What does that mean for us as leaders today?

Jesus said in John 15:18 the world hated Him and they will also hate us as believers because they love the world more than the Lord.

Christian leaders, remember that it is our job to please the Lord. It is the Lord’s job to convict the unbeliever. We must please the Lord by demonstrating the love of God to our enemies. Whatever happens in our life and the life of the unbeliever, be at peace, knowing that God is in control!

That’s it for this week’s Inspired Leadership Minute. My prayer is that together we will be the powerful, inspired leaders God intends us to be!

Please leave me a comment and let me know how this week’s Inspired Leadership Minute inspired you!

ILM #023: Your Example as a Leader Reflects Your Faith

Today in our Inspired Leadership Minute I want us to look at Proverbs 19:16: “He who obeys instructions guards his life, but he who is contemptuous of his ways will die.”

The instruction in this proverb seems pretty clear; the person who obeys instructions preserves his life while the person who refuses to obey instructions will die.

The question is, whose instructions is Solomon referring to? He could certainly be referring to his own instructions. Since he was king he had the power of life and death over his subjects.

But I think it is far more likely that Solomon is referring to obeying God’s instructions. Thus, he is saying if a man obeys God’s instructions, he guards his life but the man who rejects God’s instructions will die.

What does this mean for us as leaders today?

Christian leaders, we are called to be salt and light to the world. We are called to set an example for non-believers that honors God in such a way that others will be drawn to Him.

To set that God-honoring example, we must obey God’s instructions, and to obey God’s instructions we need to know and apply His Word to every aspect of our lives, every day

That’s it for this week’s Inspired Leadership Minute. My prayer is that together we will be the powerful, inspired leaders God intends us to be!

Please leave me a comment and let me know how this week’s Inspired Leadership Minute inspired you!

ILM #022: Use Words of Encouragement to Build Others Up

Today in our Inspired Leadership Minute I want us to look at Proverbs 18:20: “From the fruit of his mouth a man’s stomach is filled; with the harvest from his lips he is satisfied.”        

This proverb is a little hard to wrap our heads around because most of us are not familiar with these metaphors. In this case, the “fruit of his mouth” is a reference to the words he speaks. The reference to the “harvest from his lips” speaks to the result of his words.

Solomon is saying the words we use have the power to build others up; filling them, satisfying them. Words also have the power to tear down, leaving the hearer empty, starving for affirmation.

What does that mean for us as leaders today?

Has someone ever offered kind words of encouragement to you? Did their words build you up; satisfy you? Did their encouragement make you want to do more?

Or has someone come at you with harsh words, tearing you down? Did you feel discouraged, worthless? Did their verbal attack cause you to want to do more, or did you want to slink away into a dark closet for a good cry?

Christian leaders, we need to realize the powerful impact our words have on those around us. We need to be careful to always use words that that will yield a good harvest!

That’s it for this week’s Inspired Leadership Minute. My prayer is that together we will be the powerful, inspired leaders God intends us to be!

Please leave me a comment and let me know how this week’s Inspired Leadership Minute inspired you!

ILM #021: Bribes, Given or Received, Are Wicked in God’s Sight

Today in our Inspired Leadership Minute I want us to look at Proverbs 17:23: “A wicked man accepts a bribe in secret to pervert the course of justice.”     

In this proverb, Solomon is warning against the man who offers or receives a bribe, referring to them as wicked because the purpose of the bribe is to pervert justice.

The original judges in Israel were appointed by God to lead the people. Judges were expected to be above reproach. They were to render decisions honestly and fairly because they represented God.

What does this mean for us as leaders today?

Look around in the business world and across the political scene. It is easy to see the impact of bribes that have perverted justice.

Bribes are commonly the exchange of money for a favor. But bribes may also take the form of special treatment granted for favors. Like the politician who gets a tip on cattle futures from an insider; she makes a lot of money, and then she does favors for the man who gave her the insider information.

Christian leaders, we need to be examples to our organizations. We need to be above reproach. We cannot offer nor accept bribes of any kind. The short-term gain that might be won from engaging in bribery is never worth being seen as wicked in God’s eyes.

That’s it for this week’s Inspired Leadership Minute. My prayer is that together we will be the powerful, inspired leaders God intends us to be!

Please leave me a comment and let me know how this week’s Inspired Leadership Minute inspired you!

ILM #020: Trials Can Strengthen and Purify Us

Today in our Inspired Leadership Minute I want us to look at Proverbs 17:3: “The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but the LORD tests the heart.”

Silversmiths and goldsmiths would heat up the silver or gold until it was liquid. Impurities would rise to the top and could then be removed, leaving the pure metals behind.

In the same way, the Lord uses the fire of trials to test our hearts and purify us.

What does this mean for us as leaders today?

Just like metals are strengthened by being purified and tempered, so the Lord uses trials to purify and strengthen us.

James, the half-brother of Jesus, admonished believers in James 1:2-3 saying, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.”

Being a Christian leader in today’s world is sure to bring trials as you stand against the secularization of our society. But when the trials come, and they will come, realize the Lord is purifying and strengthening you for an even greater work if you remain steadfast in your faith.

That’s it for this week’s Inspired Leadership Minute. My prayer is that together we will be the powerful, inspired leaders God intends us to be!

Please leave me a comment and let me know how this week’s Inspired Leadership Minute inspired you!

ILM #019: Are You Doing the Right Thing for the Right Reason with Pure Motives?

Today in our Inspired Leadership Minute I want us to look at Proverbs 16:2: “All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the spirit.”

I think there are a couple of ways of thinking about this proverb.

First, there is the man who believes he is doing the right thing for the right reason. He is pure in his own eyes.

Second, there is the man whose actions seem innocent from the outside but in reality, he is hiding impure motives.

In both cases, the Lord knows the condition of our hearts. He knows whether our actions stem from a pure heart.

What does this mean for us as leaders today?

Christian leaders take a hard look in the mirror of your soul. Make sure that your actions stem from pure motives.

Additionally, pray for God to reveal any impurity in your motives. David prayed in Psalm 139:23-24 for the Lord to search his heart, reveal any wickedness in him, and lead him in the way everlasting.

Do the right thing, for the right reason, with a pure heart so when the Lord weighs your spirit He will say, “well done, good and faithful servant.”

That’s it for this week’s Inspired Leadership Minute. My prayer is that together we will be the powerful, inspired leaders God intends us to be!

Please leave me a comment and let me know how this week’s Inspired Leadership Minute inspired you!

ILM #018: Watch Out for the Flatterer and the Gift-Giver

Today in our Inspired Leadership Minute I want us to look at Proverbs 19:6: “Many curry favor with a ruler, and everyone is the friend of a man who gives gifts.”

Solomon warns about two different kinds of dangerous men in this Proverb.

The first warning is against people who try to flatter the leader. The phrase “curry favor” refers to blatant, insincere flattery. There are folks who will flatter a leader for the sole purpose of getting into their good graces to elevate themselves or take advantage of someone else.

Solomon also warns leaders there are those who will give gifts for the sole purpose of buying friends.

What does this mean for us as leaders today?

Leaders need to be wary of those who use flattery as a way of getting into our good graces, to get close to us, or to influence us in some way.

Likewise, leaders need to be cautious of those who try to bribe others with expensive gifts.

Christian leaders, the higher up you go, the more likely there will be people who try to influence you through flattery or buy your friendship with expensive gifts. Recognize these people for what they are and be cautious of forming any relationship with them.

That’s it for this week’s Inspired Leadership Minute. My prayer is that together we will be the powerful, inspired leaders God intends us to be!

Please leave me a comment and let me know how this week’s Inspired Leadership Minute inspired you!

ILM #017: Let’s Be Gracious About One Another’s Faults

Today in our Inspired Leadership Minute I want to us look at Proverbs 17:9: He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.”

There are two ways to think about the wisdom of this proverb.

First, if you care about someone, if you love them, you will cover over their faults and not talk about them with others.

Second, relationships, in general, are built on trust. I have my faults and if you’re my friend, I expect you not to broadcast my shortcoming to others. If you do, we won’t be friends very long.

What does this mean for us as leaders today?

Every relationship we have, whether it is with a significant other, a spouse or family member, or a relationship at work depends on trust. When we are willing to overlook the faults of those we care about we build trust and strengthen relationships.

On the other hand, if we gossip about others, over time we will destroy the very relationships we hoped to build.

As Christian leaders, we need to build strong organizations and we can’t do that if gossips are allowed to tear co-workers down.

Two things you need to do. First, be a positive example yourself. Second, don’t allow this kind of destructive talk within your organization.

That’s it for this week’s Inspired Leadership Minute. My prayer is that together we will be the powerful, inspired leaders God intends us to be!

Please leave me a comment and let me know how this week’s Inspired Leadership Minute inspired you!