Effective leadership flows from a person and not a position, therefore the state and condition of the person who leads is more important than the position they occupy.
It is important to understand that a leader is a person who has an essential nature that they carry with them no matter what position they occupy. It is this nature or makeup that contains the leader’s personal values, worldview, leadership philosophy, etc. Every leader eventually acts in line with their essential nature, regardless of whether they are a pastor of a church or a president of a country. What this means is that the essential nature acts as an internal compass that directs how a person leads.
The position that a leader occupies does not change their essential nature. It only reveals it. They say a leopard can’t change its spots. A leader also doesn’t change by virtue of the position they occupy. Let me use an example of a person who presides over a meeting. This person is known as the chairperson—colloquially sometimes referred to as the chair. And yet in the meeting, the chairperson does not need to sit in any particular chair to direct proceedings. What this tells us is that the direction and efficiency of the meeting is not dependent on a position but on the person occupying the position.
In the verse for today, Solomon provides us with a moral antithesis or a picture of two kinds of leaders: a righteous leader and a wicked leader. Righteousness or wickedness is a spiritual condition—it is a state of being. King David amplifies this with words he left the nation of Israel. He said, “The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel said to me: ‘When one rules over people in righteousness, when he rules in the fear of God, he is like the light of morning at sunrise on a cloudless morning, like the brightness after rain that brings grass from the earth’” (2 Sam. 23:3-4, NIV).