Good Leaders Have the Ability to Pick Signals

By Rev Clifford Chisha

…One of the great lessons from the leadership of David.

Key Scriptures: 2 Samuel 12:26-28 and 2 Samuel 18:5-15

Some leaders cause organisations and themselves to fail because they lack the ability to pick up negative signals from inside the organisations.

We often concentrate on the outside forces to protect our organisations, overlooking the inside forces.

Inside forces are usually more deadly than the outside one.

Very few things crumble without giving a signal.

It helps to constantly check the environment we operate in.

The mood of the people, their response to instructions, language and commitment should be constantly checked. If you observe some changes in the above, sincerely analyse them.

They could serve as signals of displeasure or rebellion.

Sometimes they maybe a signal of great satisfaction.

2 Samuel 12:26-28

26 “Now Joab fought against Rabbah of the Ammonites and captured the royal city.

27 Joab sent messengers to David and said, ‘I have fought against Rabbah; I have even taken the city of waters.

28 So now, assemble the rest of the men, and camp against the city and capture it, or I will take the city myself, and it will be named after me.’ ”

Critically analyse the above portion of scripture.

Look at the word Joab sent to King David… “Or I will take the City myself, and it will be named after myself.”

Was it a threat to his leader or genuine protection of his leaders’ glory?

It could be either of them, but the tone favours the first one…threat.

It was a signal that disloyalty was crippling in.

A signal was there but David failed to pick it.

Later on, Joab, David’s Army Commander killed David’s rebellious son Absalom.

This was against David’s will.

David gave orders to all the commanders who included Joab, Abishai and Ittai, to deal gently with his son Absalom.

Joab decided to disregard the orders his leader David issued.

Later, Joab supported Adonijah instead of Solomon as David’s successor.

Joab was a great warrior but he was a type of a person who always wanted to do what he wanted.

People who always want to do what they want are a danger to themselves and others.

They tend to disregard important instructions if they don’t favour their personal desires.

That seed needed to be stopped from germinating.

It was a signal king David failed to pick.

Joab had been with David for a long time, maybe that caused the king to be too tolerant when it came to dealing with him.

Being too tolerant of some individuals on the basis of longevity of relationship can be too costly in future.

If you pick a negative signal, and it is produced by a person you trust, help them quickly.

Usually, the people who cause the downfall of a leader are those whom he deliberately overlook their disloyalty or mistakes.

Failure to pick up a negative signal within your team can be costly.

It cost David the life of his handsome rebellious son, Absalom.

It may cost you your position.

Your integrity maybe at stake as well for people may link you to your subordinates’ misbehavior.

If you do not have the capacity within you to pick signals from your inner circle, your downfall is approaching.

When the people close to you begin to over-praise you, take it as a signal. A negative one actually.

When people of substance begin to distance themselves from you, take it as a signal.

David learnt a lesson, though too late.

He advised Solomon to have Joab put to death and Solomon did just that.

In our contemporary times, we don’t need to kill the “Joabs” but kill the seed in them.

We need to counsel and help such behaviours disappear.

Jesus was able to pick a signal.

He knew Judas Iscariot was a problem but left him to be because he was going to serve a great purpose.

Is there any signal to pick today my leader?

Alice Nachilembe

Alice Nachilembe is a Journalist who yearns for a better country with leaders being accountable to their mandate without oppressing the governed.

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