“Through wisdom leaders apply sound judgment and are able to avoid traps.”
Did someone say Iran? Here is a classic case of if the bully plays nice they may occasionally get what they ask for. I think the statement past history is a predictor of future actions would apply here. If you look at it on the outside it appears to be about slowing down the path to the bomb or at least delaying or freezing it from 2 year availability to 10 year. However, I think this deal will allow them to continue down the 2 year path and give them what they want in terms of other things. They will get an arms embargo lifted and they will get $100B in investment from the rest of the world. How can they lose? It just seems to me that our leadership gets lost on the deal or the legacy and begins to lose sight of why they were elected or placed in power – to protect and care for the people. From kings to presidents, the role has been the same. Some good, some bad and some are inept. All however, should keep the mind of the people in front of them. Very hard to do in this fractured society that has left behind the ideals of the past and embraced things other than character and honesty. Leaders have to make tough decisions and they need to apply sound judgment in order to avoid mistakes.
Leaders listen closely before answering. They seek to discern and understand the situation before making any judgments.
How about “the Donald”? I am not for or against Donald Trump. He is the epitome of the “Saul Effect” style leadership. He has money, has been successful and is candid in his remarks. People like that style of person. However, this type of person can be misguided, disingenuous and occasionally nasty. I do not know enough about him to make a judgement, but I do know he is without Christ. He has said so in the past and his actions indicate he is without a filter when it comes to what he wants. Trump is accomplished in the things that make men envy him, but maybe not so much in the things that make men want to be him. If we take the 8-10 characteristics of a great leader in this study and compare them with Greek politicians or the European politicians, America would be lacking as well. Our style in America is to pander to special interests and manipulate through “near truths” to get our way. We have abandoned “straight talk” for stories. In my business life most recently we had training on how to spot the TRUTH versus a STORY (fake, lie). When someone would outline a need in the business and it was not quite accurate we would say, “STORY”. Eventually the real reasons came out and this was a non-offensive way of saying, “LIAR”. It seemed to work and for some time the truth was heard. It just made my head explode that we had to “teach people” to tell the truth. It also made me wonder how far from the truth people had really moved. If it was not part of our thought process when we were asking for $1-2M in capital to spend on a project, what would we say when it was $100 or even $1000 in our daily lives? We had to listen and discern in business to ensure that our award of money for projects was appropriate and the project was real. Many times before this process there were requests made and business cased presented with fantastic return on investment that never materialized and there was no penalty for it. Again, it blew my mind. However, as I started looking around at the general population it was evident not only in politics, but life in general that there was an undercurrent of manipulation through “near truths”. We have moved from a culture of truth tellers to manipulators and if there is no penalty for lying, why not do it? Well in the end there is a price to pay. It could be loss of employment, marriage breakup or the reflection of this me culture in your/my children. The best practice is to listen and think before you speak. Old school advice from the B.C. times, but relevant today. In today’s culture and society “truth telling” is not the norm.
“A fool gives vent to his anger, but a wise man remains under control.”
Ok, let’s get Righteous indignation on the table right away. In the New Testament Jesus was extremely angry with the money changers doing business in the Temple and went in with a whip and turned over tables. Say what? Oh my! Yes He was angry, but in a different way. It was a way that related to the desecration of the Temple which was a place of worship, which had been turned into a “den of thieves”. This practice being there changed the perspective of what was to take place and what this area of the Temple was originally designed for. He was upset and took action. Justified? I think so.
I am not advocating we take whip and go to work on our politicians or Wall Street or anyone else. I am really advocating we learn self-control. I had talked about this earlier and it is not something that comes easily to us. As a matter of fact, I can tell you that I deployed it as a tool in my life prior to knowing Christ and beginning to understand what a wise man was. For example, as a young man I learned that if I did not get my way at home I could “intimidate” my parents by anger. I then took that on the road after I left home and I could turn the tables on my wife in a losing argument by deploying the anger explosive. It was powerful and effective. My next experience with this manipulative tool of life was in the workplace. It worked! However, it also had devastating effects on those around me. At the time I did not care and was thinking of only one thing, WHAT DO I WANT AND HOW DO I GET IT. To tell the truth, I seemed to be getting what I wanted, but it was at a terrible cost and the people around me were not happy. Frankly, I was losing friends in this process and it was beginning to make me uncomfortable to go “nuclear” every day. There was a price to pay and that price was in reputation and in isolation. The isolation was the potential consequences of damaged relationships. Oh yeah, there were some people who hung with me and were like me and we commiserated together. Overall the quality of people around me went down considerably. Then I met Christ and began to slowly think this through and realized I need to change. I made a commitment to get my temper tantrums under control. It was a long and difficult process and one that took me on an interesting internal journey that opened doors to other behavior changes. This verse was part of my changed lifestyle. Christ made a huge difference in my life. He can make the same difference in your life as well, but it takes thought effort and courage. At times is can be as simple as understanding that you cannot have you way in everything all the time and other times it is just to SHUT UP and remain silent. Once I began to master this emotion when I saw others who did this it made me sad. I could watch them and understand they were not in control and they were not looked at as someone who could rise in life, let alone business. It was eye opening once I began to see the same things I acted out in others. Tragically, it was after many years that I began to see this. I did not immediately rise to the CEO of the company or anything like that, but I did see my home life change and become better almost instantly. Then there were the subtle positive changes over the years that I could see. It was a difference maker for me. This does not mean I have arrived and have complete 100% no anger issues, it simply means I recognize it/them and control them. Just as the scripture above says, you can do this and it will improve your life.
“The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but man is tested by the praise he receives.”
When things are really tough we are focused and diligent. When the pressure is off we tend to relax and get sloppy. The hallmark of our life is to remain vigilant and in control. Mastering these skills is so very important in every aspect of our lives. It will help us be the man or woman we should be and approach things in the right way with the right attitude. People of high integrity are not swayed by praise. They/We operate on inner conviction and they/we remain true to principles regardless. Ready for a change?