By George W Nyabadza
STEVEN Covey, who wrote The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, observed from his research of 200 years of leadership, personal development and success literature that “almost all m
aterials had their source in the study of the Bible by the authors”.
I agree wholeheartedly with the inference that the Bible has such indescribable wealth of leadership and success principles that every leader, religious or not, should have it (and read it) as part of their library.
The meeting of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, which is found in 2 Chronicles 9 verses 1 to 12, is one event that is replete with strategic leadership principles. The Queen of Sheba had heard of Solomon’s fame and had travelled from Ethiopia to test him, and as it turned out “nothing was too hard for him to explain”. The Queen was so impressed that she gave Solomon much gold, precious stones, and large quantities of spices.
Reading the text reveals that the Queen was more impressed by her observance of the practical excellence of Solomon’s organisational processes. It is written; “When the Queen of Sheba saw the wisdom of Solomon, as well as the palace he had built, the food on his table, the seating of his officials, the attending servants in their robes, and the burnt offerings he made at the temple of the Lord, she was overwhelmed.”
I find in this short text six key strategic leadership issues (i) the ability to withstand incisive questioning (ii) the construct of the palace building (iii) the food provision (iv) the seating arrangements (v) the attending servants in their robes (vi) the burnt offerings to the temple of the Lord.
How much substance do you possess to back up the position that you hold? There was no question too hard for Solomon to answer. Can the same be said of you in your leadership role?
The construct of the palace
The palace that Solomon built was grand and majestic. It wasn’t a hotchpotch of bricks and mortar. It was architecturally magnificent and structurally imposing and able to inspire awe and wonder from any observer. Could the same be said about the physical presence of your organisation?
The food provision
I like to think of this as compensation (provision) to your staff. How adequate are your compensation systems and structures? Do they sufficiently reward your employees so that they are able to rise up again tomorrow energised and motivated to serve?
The seating arrangements
Is there order in your organisation? The seating arrangements in Solomon’s palace were not only functional but in appropriate ranking that ensured that the King could visually see everyone whilst being able to communicate directly with his top officials. Can the same be said of your organisation?
The attending servants
This refers to the excellence in the support structure. Does every function and role in your organisation serve the delivery of products or service to the client, or is there deadwood that must be burned? Have you surrounded yourself with yes-man or “old boys/girls” who really serve no purpose?
The burnt offerings
This simply speaks about the culture of your organisation. Are there routines, processes, rituals and events that declare and re-affirm the spirit and essence of who you are as an organisation?
The Queen’s response to all of the excellence in Solomon’s palace was: “The report I heard in my own country about your achievements and your wisdom is true. But I didn’t believe what they said until I came and saw with my own eyes. Indeed, not even half the greatness of your wisdom was told me; you have far exceeded the report I heard! How happy your men must be! How happy your officials, who continually stand before you and hear your wisdom!” Can the same be said about you and the organisation you lead?
l South African-based George W Nyabadza is the chief executive officer of Achievement Success Dynamics International. For more information on leadership development programmes please visit our website www.achievement-success.com or email George on firstname.lastname@example.org