"You have increased the number of your merchants till they are more numerous than the stars in the sky, but like locusts they strip the land and then fly away" - Nahum 3:16.
In Nahum 3, the prophet Nahum spoke out against Nineveh for a variety of sins. In this particular verse, he confronted their bad business practice of partnerships that were designed to take and not give back. These partnerships seemed to be predatory and had only one objective in mind: maximize profits and then move on to new fields that they could once again strip bare. This offended the Lord, so much so that the prophet, God's mouthpiece, spoke out against the practice and condemned it. Leaders must determine the nature of and reason for their partnerships in business, but these partnerships (including those with employees) should benefit many and not just the self-centered interests of the company and shareholders.
LEADERSHIP STEP: Your Step today is to conduct a partnership assessment with your staff, suppliers, customers and other publics. Is the nature of these partnerships solely to take and serve self-interests, or do they exist to benefit the environment, the community, and the long-term interests of employees and their families? Is everyone better off due to these relationships, or do you need to adjust the purpose of some of them to reflect an attitude of servant leadership?