Archive for the ‘Leadership and Authority’ category

Ecclesiastes 8:8-9 – King Solomon’s Fifth Principle for Good Leaders

July 29, 2011

This will be my fifth, and final, post on King Solomon’s principles for good leaders. I have really enjoyed quoting from Pastor Robert McLaughlin’s commentary on the Book of Ecclesiastes (order it for free here). Even though this is the last excerpt from Pastor McLaughlin’s discussion of leadership principles found in Ecclesiastes chapter 8, I will probably provide some more quotes from his work going forward. I have really enjoyed this!

The fifth principle is that a good leader must have a humble spirit. I believe that to be true and I wish that more of our leaders would take it to heart. I have no way of knowing how many humble leaders there are in this day and age but my personal experience tells me that there are very few. I hope that I am wrong. None the less the principle stands and I hope I will keep it in mind whenever I exercise the limited authority I have. (more…)

Ecclesiastes 8:5-7 – King Solomon’s Fourth Principle for Good Leaders

July 7, 2011

This will be my only post for the next two weeks. I will be on vacation as well as driving my daughters all over the place when I’m not on vacation. It’s going to be busy but I am really looking forward to it!

This post discusses King Solomon’s fourth principle for a good leader: a keen judgment (taken from Robert McLaughlin’s commentary on Ecclesiastes which can be ordered for free here). I don’t know about you but most of the places I have worked for have had some very smart people managing the company and making the “big decisions.” The strange thing is that I have trusted some of those people without giving it much thought and some of the others I have never trusted. I suppose that over the years I have learned that someone with a high IQ is not always wise, at least not in a business situation. The qualities listed by King Solomon in Ecclesiastes 8:5-7 are ones that I notice very quickly and will tend to trust the leader who has them. The message of these verses really caught my attention and they probably should catch yours too.

Here is Pastor McLaughlin: (more…)

Ecclesiastes 8:2-4 – King Solomon’s Third Principle for Good Leaders

June 10, 2011

I wasn’t planning on posting two weeks in a row on King Solomon’s principles for good leaders but events have made it difficult to do anything else (purchasing a new computer unexpectedly changed my plans). That is fine though. I have enjoyed posting these principles a lot and they certainly are not a waste of time or effort.

The third principle is having a discreet mouth and Ecclesiastes 8:2-4 sets out rules for both the leader and the subordinate to follow. There are a lot of people who both have authority and are under authority at the same time so all of these principles apply to them. The rest of us need to take to heart the principles that apply to us now and remember the rest for future reference. From personal experience I have worked for bosses who expect complete, unwavering obedience from their staff but turn around and try and undercut their management if it suits them. It’s the old “tails I win and heads you lose” ploy and it isn’t biblical.

I can’t claim to be perfect when it comes to this either. I try to never undercut my supervisor’s authority at work but my wife sure gets an earful at times. I suppose I should work on that a bit.

As usual I like Pastor McLaughlin’s exposition on this passage and I think he does a good job wit. Oh well, you can make up your mind for yourself: (more…)

Ecclesiastes 8:1b – King Solomon’s Second Principle for Good Leaders

June 3, 2011

This post is taken from the commentary on the book of Ecclesiastes written by Pastor Robert McLaughlin (his commentary can be ordered free of charge by following this link). For my preceding post on Ecclesiastes 8:1a follow this link.

Here is a quick refresher on what the passage in question says:

Ecclesiastes 8:1. “Who is like the wise man and who knows the interpretation of a matter? A man’s wisdom illumines him and causes his stern face to beam.”

The quote below from Pastor McLaughlin is why I decided to post on King Solomon’s principles for leaders, I like it a lot! I have always thought that a person’s life is reflected in their face. More than once I have looked at someone and thought “they must have had a hard life!” I have known young people whose faces begin to show stress and cares way beyond their years and I have known old people whose faces do not show their age. Many would explain that away as being caused by genetics (isn’t that the explanation for everything anymore?) but I don’t buy it. Our faces not only show our genetics, and our circumstances, but how we have dealt with the problems of life.

I especially like the unattributed quote at the end of Pastor McLaughlin’s quote (if anyone ever reads this who knows the author please tell me in the comments). Too many Christians seem to think that having their faces twisted into a perma-scowl shows gravitas and maturity but I disagree. If we, as Christians, truly have a joy that surpasses all understanding shouldn’t it show in our faces?

Here is Pastor McLaughlin: (more…)

Ecclesiastes 8:1 – King Solomon’s First Principal for Good Leaders

May 20, 2011

This week I am providing another quote from Robert McLaughlin’s commentary on the Book of Ecclesiastes (the book can be ordered free of charge by following this link). Pastor McLaughlin is continuing his exploration of what attributes King Solomon believes a good leader should have.

My first post (link here) quoted from Pastor McLaughlin’s introduction to Ecclesiastes 8 and this week I am providing his discussion of the first attribute of a good leader: an understanding of where the leader is taking his organization and why he is taking it there. I don’t know about you all but I have been in job situations where I have wondered if management had any idea where they wanted to take us. If you have ever been in that situation you will understand how unsettling that can be. Uncertainty in any organization, be it small or large, is deadly.

There is one other thing that really catches my attention as I read Pastor McLaughlin’s commentary. Quite often he will demonstrate the principle he is talking about by using pastors as an example and he does that again here. There is nothing specific in this passage to pastors and no reason why the principles explained don’t apply to everyone, he just uses pastors as an example because that is the profession he knows best. I find that to be refreshing! It’s nice to see a pastor apply principles to himself and let me apply the principles to my own situation. A lot of pastors feel the need to rain down fire and brimstone on the reader to make their point but that gets to be a little old, and ineffective, after a while.

Ecclesiastes 8:1 actually contains two leadership principles but I am saving the second one for a later post. This one is interesting enough on its own. Enjoy!

Here is Pastor McLaughlin: (more…)

King Solomon on Leadership and Authority

May 6, 2011

I am going to continue with my posts on the commandments in the Mosaic law dealing with treatment of the poor but I also want to mix things up a little bit. I have been slowly working my way through Robert McLaughlin’s commentary on the book of Ecclesiastes (you can request a free copy at this link) and have recently read the section dealing with Ecclesiastes 8:1-9. These verses tell us of the qualities that good leaders should have. McLaughlin’s commentary really struck a chord with me so I wanted to share them with you all.

I have had a good career that most people would love to have. I am not a direct supervisor of anyone even though I do have “dashed line” responsibilities for a couple of employees. Because of where I sit in the organization I get glimpses of what goes on between the senior management in our company. I hate to say it but I think that many senior staff could benefit from listening to King Solomon. I also think that many other people employed at a lot of other companies would agree with that statement.

I like Pastor McLaughlin’s introduction to chapter eight so I am going to start by sharing it with you: (more…)


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