Experience is the best teacher – and the most expensive one!

So read Leadership Lessons: Avoiding the Pitfalls of King Saul and learn from the mistakes of another person in history.  In this excellent and practical resource, Ralph Hawkins and Richard Leslie Parrott breakdown the struggles of King Saul, a biblical leader in the Old Testament, and examine where things went wrong.

In so doing, they literally show you what is down the path of poor decisions.  In the words of Tommy Newberry, a life and leadership coach – if want to be extraordinary, find out what the ordinary do and don’t do it!  The same goes with success and failure.  By examining the poor habits of King Saul you can save yourself from headache and heartache and choose a different path – one leading to healthy habits.

By drawing on biblical wisdom and highlighting modern day leadership principles, Hawkins and Parrot not only offer a critique but an equipping.  Each chapter focuses on a specific behaviour or habit that you should be aware of in leadership.  Unlike the title suggests, it’s not just “avoiding” the pitfalls of King Saul, but the authors put forth practices to replace those poor habits with healthy ones and coach for better outcomes.

Particularly of help is the end of chapter exercise where they invite you to Assess, Analyze, and Act.  These take the principles of the chapter and help build a tangible bridge into application in your setting.

This would be a great resource for a church board, a pastoral staff, or what I’ll likely do, is gather a group of young growing leaders and do a monthly breakfast with it.

Full five stars for sure and definitely worth to pick up and work through.

Full Disclosure:  This book was provided for me free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review program.   I was encouraged to write an honest review and the opinions I have expressed are my own.

On Honour

I believe one of the most significant commodities in our socialized culture is honour and shame. We ‘like’ pictures, posts on Facebook and Youtube. In this context, silence is deafening. Worse, is when a person outright publicly attacks or defaces another. The distinction between people has changed from those who have access to education, jobs, wealth, technology to a different and more powerful commodity – those we honour and those we shame.

Leaders, we need to be aware of this and we need to influence it every chance we can. Recently, I attended a political event in which two candidates vied for the votes of those in attendance. I listened carefully to their speech for something other than, “Don’t vote for the other person”. That is not a strong campaign, that’s a shame campaign. Leaders, capture me with your heart and your vision!

“Sticks and stones make break my bones, but words will never hurt me” – we know to be false. Words have the power to emotionally and socially bankrupt a person. If you want to be a leader, lead with your language.

  1. Speak encouragement as much and as often as you can.
  2. Emphasize specific actions that led to a desirable outcome.
  3. Eliminate sarcasm. All of it. A joke at another person’s expense is not a joke . . . it’s shame.
  4. Speak well of other people when they’re not with you.
  5. Don’t be afraid of going overboard. Shame is everywhere. Honour is a rare commodity. Unfortunately, your words of encouragement may be the only diamonds a person receives in a weeks worth of coal.
  6. I wasn’t be sarcastic when I said eliminate sarcasm!

I believe it was Maxwell who said you and I are like elevators in our relationships. Question is are you bringing people up or down?