Leadership Thoughts and a Letter to President Zuma

When Israel asked for a king it appears that God was disappointed. Certainly his prophet of the day, Samuel, expressed great distress at their request. It seems that God feels competent to run nations without an obvious human monarch. Nonetheless, God gave them a king and many afterward. When a king attuned his heart to God's the nation prospered and when the king went head strongly after his own agenda the nation suffered. Israel's first king, Saul, was head and shoulders above his peers in appearance but when called on to lead the nation he was found inadequate. The prestige and power that goes with leadership can be an intoxicating experience. It turns the most unlikely people into despots. This good-looking yet timid man was soon defying God and chasing away rivals by throwing spears at them. Despite the willingness with which he embraced the authority that went with his position, it appears that he was reluctant to embrace the responsibility with the same enthusiasm. Saul spent more time enjoying the position than caring for the nation.

Israel's first king, Saul, was head and shoulders above his peers in appearance but when called on to lead the nation he was found inadequate. The prestige and power that goes with leadership can be an intoxicating experience. It turns the most unlikely people into despots. This good-looking yet timid man was soon defying God and chasing away rivals by throwing spears at them. Despite the willingness with which he embraced the authority that went with his position, it appears that he was reluctant to embrace the responsibility with the same enthusiasm. Saul spent more time enjoying the position than caring for the nation.

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The Importance of Leadership

I have just completed reading two books on the Second World War. The first was by an American soldier who spent 4 years in a Japanese prisoner of war camp and the second was an overview of the War from both the Soviet and Allied perspective. Last week the world remembered the day when the Americans dropped two nuclear devices on Japanese Cities and before that Remembrance Day services were held all over Europe to commemorate the end of the War in Europe.

The impression both books left me with was the magnitude of mankind’s stupidity and cruelty. Led by dictators in Germany, Japan and the Soviet Union and managed by diplomatic and military leaders who set out to achieve what their masters told them to do. The “civilized” countries of the World attacked each other in an orgy of violence and self-destruction that left tens of millions dead and many more homeless, destitute and hungry.

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