1 Kings 12:7 “And they spake unto him, saying, If thou wilt be a servant unto this people this day, and wilt serve them, and answer them, and speak good words to them, then they will be thy servants for ever.”
Being a leader is never easy, and it is easy to fall into erroneous leadership traps that will destroy your ability to lead God’s people. Many good leaders have been destroyed by books and leadership guru’s who teach how to lead through man’s philosophy and not by God’s Word. In 1 Kings 12, there are several erroneous leadership traps that, if avoided, you can lead those whom God has given you to lead down the right pathway of life. I am not saying that leading in the right way will be easy, but the reason you are a leader is because God expects you to have the courage to do the right thing. Let me share these erroneous leadership traps.
The first erroneous leadership trap is to have the wrong sources of counsel. Rehoboam went to people who had never advised a king before, and his sources of counsel caused him to make a wrong decision. You can't be influenced by wrong sources without those sources influencing you in the wrong way. You can't read books that don't believe like you and expect those books not to influence your leadership decisions. You must always keep your sources of influence and counsel right if you want to lead in a godly manner.
The second erroneous leadership trap is to forsake the old for something new. Rehoboam was a peer-driven leader to his demise. He forsook the old men who knew what to do because they seemed to be outdated to the present generation. A leader must always be careful about thinking the old ways won’t work in the present day. Truth always works even when it seems to be outdated and out of touch with the present society. Don't forsake the old paths for new things that have never been proven; it is a sure way to make grave mistakes as a leader.
The third erroneous leadership trap is to lead by force. Rehoboam said that he would add to the yoke of those he led. He should have just been an example to those he led and they would have followed. Leaders are not to demand followship; they are to earn it by their example of doing what they expect others to do. You may be able to lead by force for a short time, but eventually people will get tired of it and will leave you for someone else.
The fourth erroneous leadership trap is to be position-focused instead of truth-focused. Jeroboam was afraid he would lose his throne if he led a certain way. You cannot let the fear of losing your position cause you to leave truth. Your position doesn't matter; truth does matter. Making decisions based on truth may be difficult and unpopular, but that is why you were given the leadership position because people believed you were courageous enough to make those tough leadership decisions.
The fifth erroneous leadership trap is to let the fear of man guide your decisions. Jeroboam was afraid of what people thought about him to his demise. My friend, anytime you let fear guide you as a leader, you can be assured that you will make wrong decisions. You can’t be afraid of what man thinks about you and lead right; you better let the fear of God guide you as a leader. When you are more concerned with what God thinks about you than you are with what man thinks about you is when you will lead in the right way.