I've been thinking about leadership...


I love the idea of following a thread in Scripture and then finding gems of wisdom embedded in commentaries. Wow! That happened to me this week when I happened upon Proverbs 24:3-6.

Here is what the passage says: By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches. A wise man is full of strength, and a man of knowledge enhances his might, for by wise guidance you can wage your war, and in the abundance of counselors there is victory.

Here are some of the thoughts I gleaned from a helpful commentary. These two sayings testify that wisdom is crucial to success, whether building a home or waging war. Amen! When I think about the general activity of women, it surrounds a home and homebuilding and then a career - women GATHER! When I think about the general activity of men, it surrounds strategizing how to provide for a family, making a satisfactory living and even sometimes making war - men HUNT!

Building houses and establishing households are peacetime activities. By their juxtaposition, therefore, these four verses encompass major aspects of human life and activity and assert that wisdom is equally necessary in each of these areas of life, thus encouraging those who seek success to seek it through wisdom. Amen and amen! When I as a woman go about my homebuilding activities I am seeking to beautify my environment with "all precious and pleasant riches." And, as I age, I have found my influence extends past my home which takes me into the realm of leadership in the community.

The humility that encourages a person to seek advice comes from knowing that no one is omniscient or omni-competent (!) and that wisdom must be sought. The wise person therefore looks for ways to strengthen their ability to meet daily needs by increasing the knowledge that they already possess. Then the plans, which are based on insights of a number of people, are much more likely to succeed, since their joint strengths will cancel out each other's weaknesses. Humility looks good on everyone - men and women alike. Humility invites healthy collaboration with others which in turn produces a greater, more effective whole.

The theme of planning is thus integrally related to that of diligence, since success crowns diligent planning, whether one is building a house, establishing a household or preparing for war. I am affirmed in my leadership when I realize I control the amount of diligence and care I bring to each new enterprise. When I keep my head down and work to make each piece of a project excellent, then the whole will be excellent. The process makes me an excellent leader, whether I am acknowledged or not. I know what I am capable of and that confidence settles down deep into my soul.

These verses do not guarantee success in such enterprises. They do, however, reflect the overwhelming conviction of Proverbs concerning diligence and care. These characterize a life lived in the fear of the Lord and tend to reap success.

How can a man understand a women's leadership language? Women lead through applying great diligence and care whether in building a home or building a business or ministry. They excel at providing "precious and pleasant riches" for everyone who frequents their environment. Praise God for women in leadership. We are all blessed by it!