Leadership Skills in Bible
Understanding leadership is an important competitor analysis skill. Poor leadership is a weakness which is reflected in the strategies taken by a company. And companies with poor leaders are less likely to survive when competition intensifies. The opposite is the case for good leaders.But what makes a good or bad leader. Is it just an ability to come up with winning strategies, or is there more to it.
The Bible can teach us lessons about how the Bible can teach us lessons that are applicable for today’s business. The biblical story of Korah told in the book of Numbers is one story that illustrates the issues of leadership. Korah was a cousin of Moses. According to Jewish legends, he was fabulously wealthy, and he was also sufficiently charismatic to attract several followers. He approached Moses and asked why he was being passed over – questioning the right of Moses and his brother Aaron to be top ones. God was not amused, and eventually Korah and his followers were destroyed.
But was it so wrong to aspire to leadership? What was so special about Moses and Aaron that made God accept their leadership style and not that of Korah. After all, Korah had proved that he could be successful – his wealth and followers showed this. The answer lies in how you lead.
There are two types of leaders. The first, leads for reasons of ego. They want to lead. They want to be the boss. Essentially, their ambition is to make things better for themselves, and if those beneath them benefit, then all the better. They thrive on the feeling of power and control that leadership can convey. This type of leader can be viewed as a taker. They take what is given from their followers and those underneath them. If they are good at strategy, then all benefit – although they will often benefit more. If they fail, however, then through not cultivating successors and partners, they are likely to drag all down with them.
The second sort of leader is the opposite of the first, in that rather than choosing to lead, leadership is thrust upon them. They may be the boss, but their ambition is not to benefit themselves but to make things better for those who entrusted them with the leader role. They are givers and will encourage others to follow them, through taking up leadership roles and sharing power. As a result, such leaders are more likely to leave a long-lasting legacy, and will also be better suited to withstand problems. They can call on others for help – and as their motivation is altruistic, they are more likely to receive help.
So how do you spot givers and takers in companies. The first thing to do is look at the company culture. Is it collaborative or mercenary? Do the leaders lead by example, or do they just expect to be obeyed? Do they consult with others and take account of the needs and interests of all the organization or just a select few who they see as their near-equals?
Few years back, Warren Buffet, the chairman of Hathaway, announced that he plans to leave 85% of his fortune to the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation, which made charitable payments in 2005 alone, of more than twice that donated by UNESCO. The name Buffet won’t even become incorporated in the charity’s name.
So, when you look at the leaders of your competitors or your own company think about whether they are givers or takers. As in long-term it seems that being a giver is a more reliable indicator of success.