6 Leadership Principles From The Old Testament

Day 1 of 6 • This day’s reading

Devotional

Much of the Bible is contrary to secular leadership thought. But God’s principles really work – whether you’re in the marketplace, the church, at home, or anywhere in between.

As you read through these concepts over the next six days, pray for guidance and courage to try one or more of them, even if you’re not sure at first that they’ll work for you.

Today’s principle may be the most challenging:

Build the reputation of your critics.

In the book of Judges, Gideon and his small force chase the enemy Midianite army, achieving a great victory.

After the battle, some tribal chiefs complain about missing the glory of Gideon’s main battle. The text says they criticized him “violently.”

But rather than respond in kind, he says, “What have I done now compared to you? . . . God handed over to you Oreb and Zeeb, the two princes of Midian. What was I able to do compared to you?” (Judges 8:2-3).

When Gideon lifts up their accomplishments over his own, their jealousy and anger subside.

How can we apply Gideon’s technique of promoting his critics without diminishing his own accomplishments? Here are two lessons for us:

1. Call out their strengths. When we point out the strengths of a critic to his coworkers, it gets around that you think a lot of him, and he may be reluctant to criticize you in the future.

2. Ask for confidential criticism. Those who sling mud in public usually change their tune in private discussions. The next time you talk to your critic one-on-one, try asking if there’s anything you can do to improve. This may reveal something you can actually work on, but it also takes force out of the person’s verbal attacks because there’s no audience.

Constant criticism can devastate corporate culture. When left unchecked, it defines the culture. A culture of humility, however, is defined by Gideon’s uncommon tactic of lifting up his critics.