W48D4 - Knowledge

"You have searched me, Lord, and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive
my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and
my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it
completely.You hem me in behind and before,and
you lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too
wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain" - Psalm 139:1-6.

Some the most useful knowledge leaders can possess is self-knowledge. The most reliable source of self-knowledge is God Himself, for He created all leaders and is intimately acquainted with all their ways. He is willing to share this knowledge with all leaders who seek Him so they can understand the truth behind their thoughts, actions, words, and motivations. Leaders would be well served if they regularly sought the Lord to obtain accurate knowledge about who they are so they can have an accurate personal assessment that is grounded in fact and not as they wish or perceive themselves, for they can easily be fooled into thinking they are one thing when they in reality are quite another.

LEADERSHIP STEP: Your Step today is learn about yourself from God's perspective. Go back and find any report you may have completed for any personality assessment (if you have not done an assessment, seek out a counselor or HR professional to identify one). Take that report or feedback and commit to read and pray over it for the next four days. Record your thoughts and insights of your strengths, weaknesses and possible motivators in your journal.


W43D4 - Knowledge

“Woe to you experts in the law, because you have
taken away the key to knowledge. You yourselves
have not entered, and you have hindered those
who were entering" - Luke 11:52.

Jesus condemned the leaders of Israel because of their role in hindering people gaining knowledge of the truth. Not only did they hinder others from knowing, but they refused to find the knowledge for themselves. This indicates that leaders and followers should be on a learning journey together, forming what some writers have called a learning or teaching organization. Those organizations are always sharing information throughout every level, constantly studying what they have learned from past experiences so they can do a better and more effective job to accomplish their mission. In a learning organization, followers learn from leaders and leaders also learn from followers, since neither group has a lock on all the answers on how to do business.

LEADERSHIP STEP: Your Step today is to ensure that you are part of a learning or teaching organization. First, make sure your staff get meetings are times when everyone shares information and insight, not just the leaders. Second, do what you can to encourage everyone to get more training through outside workshops and seminars. Third, debrief all business activities to identify the good and not-so-good. Fourth, set aside in-house days for training and vision casting.


W38D4 - Knowledge

"When you come, bring the cloak that
I left with Carpus at Troas, and my scrolls,
especially the parchments" - 2 Timothy 4:13.

In the days of the Apostle Paul, there were few libraries and fewer books that could populate them, for writing materials and literacy were scarce. The Jews were all literate for one reason: so they could read and study God's word. Paul was also a Pharisee, and that group devoted large chunks of their lives to reading and study. It is no wonder then that God chose Paul to do be the lead apostle to the Gentiles, for Paul was not only learned but also kept on learning and growing. Leaders in any field should follow Paul's example and continue to grow and gather knowledge, both in their field of expertise and in the leadership skills they need to promote organizational and personal success.

LEADERSHIP STEP: Your Step today is to map out a reading program for the rest of the year. Keep in mind that your 'reading' can be 'listening,' for there are many great audio books on the market, and many ways to obtain or download those books. First, choose the area that you would like to focus your reading. Then identify the books of interest to you in that area. Then making reading (or listening) a part of your daily routine, even if it is only for five minutes.


W33D4 - Knowledge

"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching,
rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that
the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for
every good work" - 2 Timothy 3:15-16.

The Bible is not a book about leadership but it contains many principles, stories and commands that would make any leader more effective. The Bible, however, is not to be approached lightly or without some understanding of how to interpret and apply its directives. Leaders would do well to study the Bible, not only in personal devotions, but also in some form of deeper, directed study that would aid in their comprehension and ability to comprehend and incorporate what they learn into their everyday leadership style and decisions. Perhaps the Bible is best applied, however, in character formation, for this book written thousands of years ago can still interpret the motives and intent of a leader's heart and decisions with amazing accuracy.

LEADERSHIP STEP: Your Step today is to recommit to a lifelong study of God's word, both from a devotional and academic perspective. First of all, make sure you choose a good translation and assign it as your study Bible. Second, read through the Bible in one year. Third, look for classes in your church or online that will enhance your understanding of Bible times, language, types of literature therein and authors. Finally, apply what you learn to your work.


W28D4 - Knowledge

“If you follow my decrees and are careful to obey
my commands, I will send you rain in its season, and
the ground will yield its crops and the trees their fruit.
Your threshing will continue until grape harvest and the
grape harvest will continue until planting, and you will
eat all the food you want and live in safety in your
land" - Leviticus 26:3-5.

God made these promises of abundant provision and successful business operations to any and all who know and obey His commands. It is good for leaders to remember that it is not their business smarts, their shrewdness or their negotiating skills that brings their enterprise success and prosperity. While all those things play a part, it is God's involvement, blessing and grace that make the difference, and ultimately He is to receive all the glory and praise. All leaders will be held accountable as to whether or not they did business in accordance with God's word, so it behooves them to know the decrees and commands for which they are being held accountable.

LEADERSHIP STEP: Do you know what the Bible says about your business and your behavior in and toward that business? If not, it's time to grow your knowledge and find out! A good place to start is the book Proverbs. Start today and read a chapter of Proverbs every day (there are 31). As you do, pay attention to all the business behaviors and advice that are contained therein. Take notes in your journal as you learn what will release God's business blessings as you obey.


W23D4 - Knowledge

"My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.
'Because you have rejected knowledge,
    I also reject you as my priests;
because you have ignored the law of your God,
    I also will ignore your children'" - Hosea 4:6.

Leaders must be conveyors and carriers of all kinds of knowledge. They must have general knowledge about the economy and a host of other topics. They should be growing in the knowledge of their own business, their customers/clients and their own organization and its mission. And perhaps most importantly, leaders should have knowledge of themselves and their people - what motivates and demotivates, personalities and how they mesh (or clash) and strengths and weaknesses. In order for this growth to occur, leaders must be constant learners and students, drawing on their past but never relying solely on it for their leadership decisions.

LEADERSHIP STEP: Today you will assess your knowledge level and growth in the areas mentioned above. Give yourself a 1 (poor) to a 5 (excellent) in these five areas: general knowledge (science, history and the like); business knowledge (finance, marketing, fundraising); knowledge in your particular field; self-knowledge; and knowledge of your followers (their strengths, weaknesses, etc.). In what areas do you need improvement and how will you do so?


W18D4 - Knowledge

" . . . then you will understand the fear of the Lord
    and find the knowledge of God" - Proverbs 2:5.

The verses immediately preceding this one speak about the price leaders must pay to get the knowledge they need to do their job of leading. The price includes seeking, asking, digging and searching. In other words, knowledge cannot be a passive pursuit. Spiritual leaders must not only seek practical knowlege but also apply the same kind of commitment and diligence to obtain knowledge of God's will and ways. What's more, with the ever-changing nature of society and the organizations therein, leaders must always be seeking new knowledge and skill to remain relevant.

LEADERSHIP STEP: It is said that leaders are readers and reading is one way to obtain the knowledge that you need and seek for your leadership role. What are you reading? Do you have a reading plan for areas you need to explore or learn? You don't have to read to read, for you can listen and fulfill your reading requirement as well. Audio books or educational DVDs can also be beneficial and make use of commute or down time to add to your body of knowledge.


W13D4 - Knowledge

"Teach me knowledge and good judgment,
    for I trust your commands" - Psalm 119:66.

Leaders make and facilitate decisions. Notice in this verse that the psalmist was praying for himself, asking God to teach and give him both knowledge and good judgment. Leaders need to be near experts in the field in which their organization is involved and also to exercise good judgment where leadership decisions are concerned. That 'good judgment' comes through both learning from mistakes and also learning to apply specific knowledge of the business to daily operations. Without apology, leaders develop themselves into people of expertise and experience.

LEADERSHIP STEP: Do you pray for yourself? If so, what do you pray? The psalmist models a prayer today that you can follow. Make a personal prayer list and on it put all the things you need for your work. Ask God for financial, marketing, research, expansion or personnel knowledge, then ask God for where to get that knowledge, whether through coaches, seminars, school or reading. Get over any ambivalence about praying for yourself and then do it regularly.


W8D4 - Knowledge

"I have filled him with the Spirit of God in wisdom,
in understanding, in knowledge, and in all kinds of
craftsmanship . . . ." - Exodus 31:3.

Bezalel is the name of the man described in this verse, and he was a craftsman, chosen by God to do special work. He became a leader of the people and others craftsmen based on his skill, experience and giftedness. This is what's called expert or charismatic leadership, for the head craftsman was the best at what he did, and God gifted him to be so. Not all leaders are equal, for there are some who are more gifted than others and have insights that are unique to them and their work.

LEADERSHIP STEP: Do you have the desire to be the best, to be world-class in or at what you do? Don't dismiss that as simply ego, but accept it as a desire that God gave you. Rather than fight it, go with it and lay out a plan for how you can gain knowledge, skill and insight in your chosen area of work. That may involve school, working for several companies, or an apprenticeship. Then go be the best that anyone will see in their lifetime in your area of knowledge.


W3D4 - Knowledge

"The discerning heart seeks knowledge,
    but the mouth of a fool feeds on folly" - Proverbs 15:14.

When a leader stops learning, a leader stops growing, and then eventually stops leading. When that happens, leaders begin to rely on their authority-power - the I-am-in-charge mentality - or their history - I have done so much for this organization that you owe me - or deception - avoiding tough decisions under the guise of gathering more information or 'waiting on the Lord.' There is only one way to seek knowledge and that is to study and learn, especially learning from mistakes - your own or others'. Knowledge without effort and paying the price is impossible.

LEADERSHIP STEP: What are you doing to seek knowledge? There are obviously many paths that include classes, a new degree, a reading program, seminars, a mentor, travel to see another company's operations, and sabbatical leaves specifically to gather new knowledge. Which one of these do you have or engage in regularly? Today make a plan to engage one of those paths that will be new for you, like going back to school, and then do it.