Advisors

Advisors

“Plans are established by advice; by wise guidance you wage war!” (Pro 20:18)

How often do you think you know best? Often, we only think we are right because we haven’t heard anything better. Perhaps there is a better way. Just because we lead doesn’t mean we have all the answers and have to be infallible.

When we are embarking on a new venture, making a new plan, or moving in a new direction, there is wisdom in seeking the advice of others. It is pride or haste that stops us from seeking the wisdom of others. When we are reliant on ourselves, we are guaranteed to make the mistakes that others have already made.

There is often wisdom in the collective reasoning of a team of close advisers. Many brains are better than one. When we look at a problem or opportunity from a number of different perspectives, the conclusions we draw are more complete.

Quick Prayer: Keep me open to the guidance of others, Lord. Amen

Understanding

Understanding

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom. The knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” (Pro 9:10)

I don’t know about you, but I could do with more understanding—in particular an understanding that comes from the revelation of listening to the Holy Spirit. He is waiting to be invited into your business and wants to walk with you, guiding, leading, empowering, and bringing understanding.

God is our greatest resource, He is for us and not against us, He has plans for us and our places of work, He is vitally interested in our everyday work. It is what He has called us to.

Let’s not relegate God’s wisdom and our understanding to a seemingly sacred context. Being vitally interested in our vocation, our calling at work, He is always willing to give insight. Invite Him into your business world again today.

Quick Prayer: Help me to walk closely with You, Holy Spirit. Amen.

Relative Wisdom

Relative Wisdom

“Bind them on your fingers. Write them on the tablet of your heart. Tell wisdom, “You are my sister.” Call understanding your relative,” (Pro 7: 4-5)

How important is it in God’s view to seek after His wisdom? Maybe it is just one of those things we can occasionally indulge in when we think we need to. His description in this Proverb is quiet contrary to that view. In fact, it is rendered so intimately that it sounds like hyperbole.

We are to take these words of wisdom and bind them to our fingers. That talks to me about the need to have them physically close, able to be drawn on immediately and a ‘hands on’ practical outworking of Godly wisdom.

We are to write them on our hearts. Mediate on His Word until it becomes a part of who we are. The assimilation process of God’s word is often borne of intent, meditation and repetition.

Calling Wisdom and Understanding your closest relatives seems a bit odd but we are to be intimately associated with these characteristics and give them honor and high standing in our priorities. As we give time and place to God’s Word and Wisdom it’s fruit will manifest in our lives.

Quick Prayer: I honour wisdom Lord and will write it on my heart. Amen.

Pleasant Knowledge

Pleasant Knowledge

“For wisdom will enter into your heart. Knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. Discretion will watch over you. Understanding will keep you, to deliver you from the way of evil, from the men who speak perverse things;” (Pro 2:10–12)

Wisdom is not only for the head. We have intellectualized wisdom and knowledge as being just for the mind. This is particularly true of business and leadership. But just as we are more than only a mind, wisdom impacts our whole being, body soul and spirit.

Wisdom enters out heart where it drives our very being in our will, emotions and behaviors. Knowledge is not just for the mind either as it enters our soul, that deepest essence of who we are.

The fruit of wisdom is, according to this scripture, discretion, and understanding. These great attributes, borne of wisdom will watch over us, keep us and deliver us. Not a bad set of outcomes for any leader to possess.

Quick Prayer: Thank you for wisdom Lord, cause it to bear fruit in my life. Amen.

Insight

Insight

“If you seek her as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures: then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God.” (Pro 2:3–5)

Imagine the smartest guys in the world all in the same room—the business world’s who’s who. Buffet, Jobs, Gates, Morgan, whoever you want. You have absolute access. How exciting would that be?We have access to a mind, an understanding, a power of change, and a foreseer of all with an infinite capacity and all the time and individual attention we want. Yet sometimes we lose the comprehension of such access. It cost a lot—more than money can buy. Let’s not take it for granted.

There is an essence in the Scripture that understanding, and wisdom need to be toiled for, as searching for gold or silver. There is a measure of discipline, sweat, dedication, and work required. Will we pay the price for insight beyond our realm of understanding? Will we seek the wisdom of God? Wow, what a privilege to have access to the throne room of unfathomable grace.

Quick Prayer: Please give me insight into those things that prevail against me. Amen.

Urgent Priorities

Urgent Priorities

“It isn’t good to have zeal without knowledge; nor being hasty with one’s feet and missing the way.” (Pro 19:2)

The business world is fast paced, changing rapidly, sometimes it is just a blur. As leaders we are called upon to make decisions quickly, remain flexible, innovative and spontaneous. But fast is not always best, and the first decision is not always the most prudent.

We can get caught up in the enthusiasm and fervor of a new initiative, change program or strategy. But if we have enthusiasm without a fair measure of facts, we could be hastening our demise. Equally, if we always make a quick judgment call or succumb to pressure for an answer, we may well be ‘missing the way’.

Often others’ deadlines are a measure of their lack of planning, rather than a need for immediacy. We can mistake speed for effectiveness, if we are not careful.

There is wisdom in taking time on important calls; that wisdom is often borne in collaboration with wise councilors. Sometimes more facts need to be brought to bear on the decision. What are the alternatives, have we looked at the risks? How can we make this decision an even better one?

There is a time for an instant response, but as this proverb reminds us, it is often wise to take time for some consideration.

Quick Prayer: Lord, help me to discern between the urgent and the important. Amen.

Schmuck

Schmuck

“A man void of understanding strikes hands and becomes collateral in the presence of his neighbor.” (Pro 17:18)

Someone, obviously of Jewish heritage, once said that a guarantor is just a “schmuck with a pen”. Perhaps this is a somewhat unkind designation, yet quite possibly the sentiment of this Jewish gentleman agrees with the Word of God.

Don’t put up security for a neighbor. If you have pledged for another, go now and unshackle yourself from potential disaster. Only you can meet the obligations you promise to another. You cannot guarantee the debts or behaviors of others.

In business we know that sometimes we have to provide collateral but let us do so cognoscente of the view expressed above. Don’t do it for others, don’t do it at all if possible, or see it as a short-term necessity, to be untangled from, at the earliest possible juncture.

God is quite clear, don’t be a schmuck.

Quick Prayer: Free me from pledges. Amen.

Listen

Listen

“Where there is no counsel, plans fail; but in a multitude of counselors, they are established.” (Pro 15:22)

When we are in leadership, we often feel we need to be seen to have all the answers. Often, we think we do have all the answers. The Scriptures are very clear that, despite our blind confidence, we don’t. We need others’ perspectives to get a holistic view. It is a call to humility that unlocks the collective wisdom in our organisations.

Often in our business as leaders we are removed from the reality of day-to-day contact with customers and suppliers. Those on the front line will often have massive insights into our problems and opportunities.

Even when identified, open dialogue and input are desirable for a clear view. Proverbs 19:20 emphasizes the point, saying, “Listen to counsel and receive instruction, that you may be wise in your latter end”.

Quick Prayer: Lord, help me to listen to those You have placed around me. Amen.