Leadership Laws: The Law of E. F. Hutton Part 3

Elijah-1 Kings 18:27-38

When the man spoke, people jumped. “Cry aloud,” he told the false prophets; and they did (v. 27). “Come near to me,” he commanded the Israelites; and they did (v. 30). “Fill four waterpots with water; and pour it on the burnt sacrifice and on the wood,” he told some servants; and they did (v. 34). “Do it a second time,” he ordered; and they did (v. 34). “Do it a third time,” he said; and they did (v. 34).

But most amazing of all, by the end of the day after all the theatrics, Elijah turned his face toward heaven and cried, “Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that You are the Lord God, and that You have turned their hearts back to You again”; and God did (1 Kin. 18:37, 38)!

When Elijah spoke, everyone listened. How did the prophet gain the ear of everyone who heard his voice? We can discern a number of reasons:

  1. His courage: He was willing to stand alone for God.
  2. His conviction: He had a passion for what he believed.
  3. His character: He was honest and forthright with everyone.
  4. His connection: He magnetically drew the people to himself and to God.
  5. His credibility: He eventually gained the people’s ear because he got the results he was after.

Skillful Tongues-Proverbs 10:6-32

A number of verses in Proverbs speak of the tongue and how to use it as a positive influence. Leaders who use words skillfully increase their influence. Leaders who understand the power of words accomplish the following:

  1. They proclaim justice and are blessed (v. 6).
  2. They speak hope for the future, becoming a fountain of life to others (v, 11).
  3. They speak forth wisdom and save others from ruin (vv. 13, 14).
  4. They know when silence is more powerful than words (v. 19).
  5. Their words feed and nourish many others (v.21).
  6. They express what is right and nurture the right in the hearts of those who follow (vv. 31, 32).

Evolution of Leadership-Proverbs 18:21

Few muscles in a body wield more power than the little one inside the mouth. The Bible says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit: (Prov. 18:21). Leaders who understand this greatly increase their influence.

Our understanding of leadership has evolved over the last five or six decades. The way people expect leaders to lead has changed. Many have said our culture has witnessed four styles of leadership since 1950:

  1. The Military Commander: Leaders came out of the army and expected unquestioning obedience from subordinates. Many of our presidents had military backgrounds.
  2. The Chief Executive Officer: Most leaders migrated to a different style driven by vision and shared by everyone. Yet it was still top down and possibly very narrow in scope.
  3. The Coach: Leaders moved toward a coach model where they saw employees as players on a team. This produced even better results, but still limited the possibilities to the vision of the coach.
  4. The Poet and Gardener: Today, leaders see the need to express the heart of the team, as a poet gives words to the heart of readers. They develop players using encouragement and direction. They recognize the power of words and use them wisely.

Join me next time for The Law: E. F. Hutton Part 4.