Fri | Oct 19, 2018

Trustworthy leaders to rebuild nations

Published:Monday | February 16, 2015 | 12:00 AM

Steve Lyston, Contributor

Leadership, without a doubt, is under the microscope. Many global happenings are the result of bad leadership, leading to wastage, loss of life, and hopelessness. Many people are disappointed and turned off.

When the question is posed about what type of leader is desirable, the response is often about one characteristic - trust. People want a trustworthy leader. This is not confined to political leadership; it applies to other organisations, including businesses, churches and civil society.

People are generally attracted to charismatic leadership and other external qualities. Some look for age or gender; others support educational qualifications; while still, others regard background and social standing as good criteria for leadership. But God's criteria is in II Samuel 16:7.

God looks at the heart, and a godly leader is trustworthy and fears God. (Proverbs 9:10) What if the leader is popular with the people, but not with God? Our leaders should know that regardless of their academic qualification or how learned they may be, all of those criteria are futile unless they fear God.

When leaders fear God, He always extends their administration and their life. God will give them the ability to motivate and encourage the people through difficult times. Their source is God, and God is who they pull from, which allows them to perform beyond their planned goals and objectives. Ultimately, they earn the respect and trust of those whom they lead.

Trustworthy leaders change with times and seasons. They are not stuck in their old ways. They are always willing to learn. They are not intimidated by young, bright or gifted people. They are not afraid to promote.

Every leader needs to learn from the eagle; study the characteristics of the eagle. There are times when they have to pull away from everyone and evaluate themselves and make adjustments in areas of weakness or failure. They must nurture those whom they lead. They should not be afraid of the storms of life, but should use it to bring them to higher heights. They must be visionary, and their vision must focus on the basic things of life, water, health, education, and housing.

A good leader pleases God first, then in turn, pleases the people. If they try to please the people first instead of God, they will commit political suicide.

A good leader takes the lead and is not afraid to take responsibility when something goes wrong. They don't blame others or use them as scapegoats.

avoids arrogance

A good leader avoids gossip and arrogance. They must always remember that one who gossips with them will do it against them too. They must also be objective, be just and make sacrifices. Never ask the people to make sacrifices when leaders are not prepared to do so.

A good leader avoids greed. A lot of decisions have been made on the basis of monetary values. This engenders bribery and corruption, including kickbacks and intimate favours. Decisions should be made with grace, mercy and compassion.

Even if they don't possess all the right criteria, a good leader is honest. For many people, it is the number-one criteria.

Every leader should undergo self-evaluation. They can distribute questionnaires to garner information about their leadership style and effectiveness. Find out whether they are approachable, arrogant, or trustworthy. Do they possess integrity, loyalty or honesty? Do they know the overall purpose and goals of their organisation? Are they team players, risk-takers, willing to learn new things? Do they truly love the people, the poor? Do they say one thing and do the next? Do they hide behind PR or spin doctors?

Based on the current global problems, unemployment, chaos, war, and the resulting hopelessness, it is going to be critical how we look at leaders. When God is going to either bless a nation or punish a nation, He raises up the leader. The greatest threat ahead is leaders who don't seek God, but focus on personal mandates, motives and legacies. It is imperative for all to pray that God will raise up good leaders regardless of political affiliation; and it is also important to vote for good leaders.

We need leaders we can trust to put country above political affiliation, who will not compromise on moral values; who will not defile the nation! We need leaders who will begin to gather those who are builders, not just followers.

It is imperative for the people to seek God to discern His will for leadership. The political choices we make in the next two to three years will be critical for the direction of nations.

Steve Lyston is a biblical economics consultant and author of several books, including 'End Time Finance' and 'The New Millionaire'.