Prudent Leadership

Matthew 17:27
“Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee.”

Just because someone holds a position of leadership doesn’t mean that they are a wise or a prudent person. Many leaders undeservedly acquired a position by seniority, nepotism, or by the fact that somebody had to fill a void that had come open. Just because someone’s parent was a great leader doesn’t mean that their children will be great leaders. Just because someone is the next in line doesn’t mean that they should get the leadership position. Just because somebody has to lead doesn’t mean that you have to fill a position. Giving position because of seniority, nepotism or a void always leads to regret, heartache and destruction of a work or institution and results in poor morale. Position of leadership should be given because they are a prudent person.

Jesus was a prudent leader. When someone came to Peter and asked him why Jesus didn’t pay taxes, it must have caused concern in Peter’s mind. The Scriptures don’t say that Jesus perceived a difference in Peter’s spirit when he walked into the room, although I believe He probably perceived the change in spirit, but the Scriptures do make clear that Jesus knew what was going on in Peter’s heart. Jesus prudently led Peter, and His prudent leadership probably helped Peter in days to come to become the great leader of the early church. The prudent leadership of Jesus had four characteristics that every leader needs to have.

First, prudent leadership builds instead of berates. Jesus easily could have scolded Peter for questioning whether He was paying His taxes, but instead He chose to use the opportunity to build a man who wasn’t a scorner, but he was a man whose trust needed to be built. Prudent leaders know that yelling and scolding people never builds people into strong individuals. Prudent leaders would rather use questionable situations as opportunities to build people.

Second, prudent leadership teaches instead of interrogating. Certainly, there are times when a leader needs to question why a person is doing something, but more often than not, a leader would be wise to teach people how to do something instead of constantly questioning their motives. Leaders who constantly question a follower’s motives creates distrust in the follower. At some point, you are going to have to trust people and use every situation as a teaching moment instead of constantly questioning why they do things.

Third, prudent leadership delegates responsibilities instead of doing everything themselves. A prudent leader understands that you will grow people better by delegating responsibilities to them instead of doing everything themselves. Certainly, you can likely do a better job at a task, but you will never build people until you learn to delegate responsibilities.

Fourth, prudent leadership knows how to obey its authorities. Prudent leadership understands that it must step down and follow the authorities in areas where it is not a leader. How you follow the authorities in your life will teach others how to follow you when you are leading them. Your ability to follow authorities will do more to help those you lead to follow you than to demand that they follow you.

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