“And the saying pleased the king and the princes; and the king did according to the word of Memucan:”
Leadership qualities that leaders should mimic and acquire are often discussed so that people can know what areas they need to develop in their life. However, dangerous leadership tendencies are rarely pointed out, which in itself is dangerous because leaders need to know what to avoid so they don’t hurt those they lead. Avoiding dangerous leadership tendencies is as important as acquiring good leadership skills.
In the book of Esther, there are some definite leadership shortfalls discovered in King Ahasuerus’ reign. Much of this book could have been avoided had he avoided the dangerous leadership characteristics that plagued him in the early part of this book. The dangerous leadership qualities that he acquired also caused him to hire people with the same weaknesses, which only accentuated his weaknesses. It wasn’t until Mordecai and Esther became a part of Ahasuerus’ cabinet that these dangerous qualities were changed. Let me point out five dangerous tendencies that are seen in this book that every leader should avoid.
First, moderate leadership is dangerous. When Ahasuerus had his banquet, he allowed the people to drink alcohol in moderation. Moderate sin always leads to great sin. You can’t play with sin and not expect it to take you further than you planned. Leaders should never be moderate in handling sin. Leaders must be careful not to lead in moderation out of a desire to please everyone. Leaders must be decisive and about right and wrong without the concern of what others will think about them.
Second, angry leadership is a destructive tendency. When Ahasuerus didn’t get his way with Vashti, he got angry with her. Every leader must be careful not to respond in anger. The best leaders take their emotions out of their responses and instead allow principles to guide how they respond to every situation. You will never do this without being controlled by the Holy Spirit. Always remember that leaders who respond in anger are leaders who leave a trail of casualties and mistrust in followers.
Third, self-preservation is a destructive leadership tendency. Ahasuerus was more concerned with what people thought about him than he was with right and wrong. The purpose of leadership is to build people, not yourself. Don’t be the leader who makes decisions based on how it benefits you. The greatest leaders base decisions on how it helps and benefit those they lead; sometimes to the hurt of the leader.
Fourth, jealous leadership is a quality that will destroy every leader. Ahasuerus allowed Haman to influence him to make a law to destroy the Jews because he was convinced the Jews had laws that didn’t personally benefit him. Great leadership is not concerned with others getting credit. In fact, the greatest leader is one who is thrilled when those they lead are able to get help from others.
Fifth, proud leadership is destructive. Haman thought he was the greatest which led to his eventual death. Never become the leader who looks down on every other leader or person. Proud leaders think they are the only one who can help and discourage others from getting help from other wise leaders. The greatest leader is honored just to be used to help people. Pride is a destroyer, and it will destroy you if you allow it to become a part of your character as a leader.