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Leadership Based on Biblical Principles: 7 Leadership Lessons From King Solomon

Eric Coggins has degrees in political science, and global management. He teaches international business, and cross-cultural leadership.

King Solomon Leadership Principles and Qualities

King Solomon was the third monarch of Ancient Israel. The history of King Solomon's reign is found in the Old Testament section of the Christian Bible in the Books of First Kings and Second Chronicles. In the Bible, King Solomon was known as the wisest man of all time who attracted many important dignitaries to visit him. Some of his wise proverbs and other observations about life are found in the Bible Books called Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Songs (otherwise referred to as the Song of Solomon).

Besides his wisdom, King Solomon was also known for his grand building projects, including:

  1. The Temple in Israel's ancient capital Jerusalem and several ornate palaces.
  2. His many wives resulted in trouble in the latter years of his reign and for the future of the Kingdom of Israel.

This hub reveals seven leadership lessons gleaned from the life and sayings of King Solomon.

1. Effective Leadership Seeks Knowledge and Wisdom over Fame and Fortune

The first leadership lesson from King Solomon is that effective leaders seek personal wisdom and knowledge over fame and fortune (1 Kings 3). Soon after Solomon was appointed King of Israel, the LORD God Almighty appeared to him in a dream and promised to give the young king whatever he asked for. In response to God's promise, Solomon asked for the wisdom to effectively lead the people of Israel. God blessed the young king for asking for wisdom, not fortune and fame, and gave him all three.

Many go into business these days to make their fortune and perhaps be famous someday. The effective leader knows that fortune and fame can only come through knowledge and skill and the wisdom to use them in relevant ways that propel their business forward.

2. Effective Leadership Recruits Wise Counselors

The second leadership principle from King Solomon is that effective leaders recruit wise counselors to advise them in all matters of the business or organization. King Solomon wrote, "with many advisors, there is success" (Proverbs 24:6).

Good leaders are not afraid to hire people who know more than them. More than that, they are active listeners and humble enough to heed their subordinates' advice.

3. Effective Leadership Promotes Integrity within Their Organizations

The third leadership lesson from King Solomon is effective leaders promote integrity within their organizations. The wise king of Israel wrote: "Kings detest wrongdoing, for a throne is established through righteousness.

Kings take pleasure in honest lips; they value a man who speaks the truth" (Proverbs 16;12,13). Integrity breeds trust; trust results in a deeper bond, often leading to long-term customer satisfaction and loyalty.

4. Effective Leadership Remain Alert

Effective leaders remaining alert is the fourth leadership lesson from King Solomon. Sometimes, after a business or organization has been built up, the leaders will begin to let up. They begin to relax and allow the operations to run on autopilot.

The king of Israel observed, "to search out a matter is the glory of kings" (Proverbs 25:2). This verse suggests that effective leaders remain alert and keep themselves abreast of what is going on in their business and organization.

5. Effective Leadership Confronts and Eliminates Divisive Subordinates

The fifth leadership lesson from King Solomon is that effective leaders confront and eliminate divisive naysayers. Poor attitudes can become cancer that will eventually tear apart an organization. The best leaders guard their organizations against those with such poor attitudes.

Solomon wrote: "Remove the dross from the silver, and out comes material for the silversmith; remove the wicked from the king's presence, and his throne will be established through righteousness" (Proverbs 25:3,4).

This does not mean that good leaders write off naysayers at the first sign of trouble. No effective leaders try to see the potential in every subordinate and take initial steps to help them succeed. However, when push comes to shove, good leaders are not afraid to stand up to those who refuse to conduct themselves in appropriate ways.

6. Effective Leadership Practices Self-Control in Their Personal Lives

The sixth leadership principle from King Solomon is effective leaders practice self-control in their personal lives. Even though he was named the wisest person on earth, King Solomon did not always act in the wisest manner.

He acquired a harem of 700 wives and 300 concubines during his reign. While most of those wives and concubines were gifts from kings from other neighboring nations, they eventually led King Solomon astray and forced him to erect shrines to foreign idols.

Solomon's indiscretions caused his descendants to stumble and the Kingdom of Israel to be torn apart during his son's reign after him.

7. Effective Leadership Employs Vision to Inspire and Lead Their Organizations

Solomon wrote, "for lack of vision, a people perish." Thus, the seventh leadership principle from King Solomon is effective leaders inspire and lead through a compelling vision.

Perhaps, this principle should be placed in the second position above for much leadership wisdom literature cites purpose and vision as major key factors to effective organizations.

It seems that almost everyone wants to be a part of something larger than themselves—effective leadership lead by crafting a compelling purpose and vision.


Qazi Wajahat Hussain from New Delhi,India on May 13, 2020:

Very well explained.

ironwindow from India on July 12, 2019:

"Effective Leadership Seeks Knowledge and Wisdom over Fame and Fortune", which is the problem with many businesses today. They put short term results over long term gains. Essentially they are not leaders, but just managers

BANKIM PANDEY from INDIA on July 25, 2018:

very well written post

Akwasi Maru from Macon, Georgia on November 11, 2016:

Great story!

Earl-Breon from Indianapolis, IN on April 23, 2012:

Great hub! One of the toughest things I have tried to do is get people who may not otherwise be spiritual realize the Bible was probably the earliest leadership guidebook ever produced.

ecoggins (author) from Corona, California on April 21, 2012:

thank you peter, I appreciate your positive feedback and pray for God's blessing on you and your family

Peter Asiamah on April 21, 2012:

I really appreciate your deep wisdom and making the Bible come alive and more applicable.

God Bless you

Jeremy on April 10, 2012:

Thanks for the extra insight.

ecoggins (author) from Corona, California on November 23, 2011:

thecoffeewriter, thank you so much for the encouragement. I appreciate it very much. All the Lord's best to you in everything.

Keneesha M Hodge from Chicago, Illinois on November 23, 2011:

This is great. I love when a person can relate the bible in a truly simplified way.

macaulaychimah65 on August 21, 2011:

That was great,let us look are INTERGRITY ,thousand year ago, a man of intergrity made the following petition"may those who hope in you not be disgraced because of me,oh lord,Almighty"psalm 69:6.the phrase "because of me"thanks macaulay.

heart4theword from hub on March 21, 2011:

Remaining alert, back then they did allot of exercise just in walking and lifting. I'm sure that had to of helped in their alertness category? Creative way you put these principles into our perspective:)

ecoggins (author) from Corona, California on March 21, 2011:

Thank you Sinea. I appreciate your encouraging comments. The book you mention sounds fascinating.

Sinea Pies from Northeastern United States on March 18, 2011:

Solomon is amazing. Very well written hub. Voted up!

Have you ever readh "The Richest Man that Ever Lived" by Steven K Scott? Another angle on leadership seen through Solomon's eyes. You'd like it.

ecoggins (author) from Corona, California on March 17, 2011:

Dave, Thank you again for your positive feedback. You continue to be an encouragement to me and I appreciate it very much.

Dave Mathews from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA on March 17, 2011:

Great piece thank you. As a contract negotiator and as a contract arbitrator I loved the challenge of discovering the truth in matters amongst the bickerings.

ecoggins (author) from Corona, California on March 16, 2011:

Luis, thank you for taking the time to read comment on this hub. I appreciate your encouraging words and hope all the best to you in everything.

Luis E Gonzalez from Miami, Florida on March 16, 2011:

Good and Sound Advice, thanks