"In the month of Nisan in the twentieth year of
King Artaxerxes, when wine was brought for him,
I took the wine and gave it to the king. I had not
been sad in his presence before, so the king asked
me, 'Why does your face look so sad when you are
not ill? This can be nothing but sadness of heart'" - Nehemiah 2:1-2.
These verses are a good example of self-awareness - on the part of the king. The king noticed something was wrong with his trusted servant and did not hesitate to ask what the problem was. First of all, it was impressive that the king noticed, with all the trappings of royalty surrounding him. Second, it was significant that he cared enough to ask what the problem was. Finally, anyone who did what the king did was probably aware of his own emotional state and that enabled him to be in touch with that of others - to empathize and identify with those who are depressed and hurting. The king noticing Nehemiah's funk set off historical events that touched many lives and helped restore Jerusalem.
LEADERSHIP STEP: The king in today's story knew his 'employee' and when Nehemiah did not look happy, the king noticed and spoke up. Is there anyone on your team, staff or family that does not look like their usual self? Today you will gather courage, ask to see them and then spend some time talking about how they are doing and what is going on. Then, if it is in your power, do something to help alleviate their sadness, even if it costs you or the company something.