Posts tagged King Solomon

Global Leadership Summit Notes (Part II)

What a privilege to hear all these speakers from their different areas of expertise talk about leadership. Please see yesterday’s to see what else I learned all the while thinking about education and human trafficking in Kazakhstan.

V. Dr. Henry Cloud – The Wise, the Foolish, the Evil

Truth, what do they do with it?  Reality is different from the assumptions of leaders who think everyone is kind and responsible like them.  Diagnose who you are talking to. There are three categories of people:

1)   wise

2)   fools

3)   evil

For the wise, the light comes and they adjust their eyes to it, they actually adjust themselves when they hear truth.  They tweak the formula if they have to. When they hear criticism, they say thank you with a smile.  When a coach gives feedback they heed it.  Resource them and keep them appropriately challenged.

However, the fool instead adjusts the light, adjusts the truth and is angry when they hear criticism. They change the truth and deny reality.  They shoot the messenger.

There is hopelessness and they don’t own the problem, they blame someone else

“Do not confront or correct a fool, a mocker will hate you.”

With a fool, stop talking to them.  Stop the insanity

They have stopped the plan of your mission because they have an allergy to the reality

Don’t talk about problems with them.  Take your talk to the pattern.  You have to know how to give feedback and set your LIMITS to exposure of the problem in perception.  The leader must protect the vision or the culture of the team

Some fools are living for show or fear reasons

Ask them, “What are we doing if you keep this behavior up?”  There are consequences.

Fools do not change

Limit exposure, clear about consequences, give choice, follow through

Finally, evil people, they are bent on destruction

Reject a divisive person, flee after second warning.  Have nothing to do with them

You may need lawyers, guns (law enforcement to help intervene) and money to protect yourself from evil.

VI. John Dickson, Sydney, Australia

Numbers 12:3 – Moses wrote that he was the most humble man. The word Humility had a different meaning back when Moses wrote that than it does for us in contemporary society.

Humility means To hold power in service of others.  Humility makes the great even greater

Cultivate this in life, five things about humility

1)   common sense – none of us is an expert in everything – a true expert must know that what they don’t know far exceeds what they know in their subject. Must use Competency extrapolation.

2)   beautiful – Sir Edmund Hillary 1919-2008 was the one who climbed Mt. Everest, he built hospitals in Nepal.  He was being photographed by some admirers and some other climbers came along and didn’t know who he was so they straightened out his ice pick he was holding.  He said “thank you.” That was a beautiful expression of humility because of COURSE he knew how to hold a pick but didn’t let on.

3)   Generative – generates new knowledge.  Scientific revolution took off with the idea to test, retest, evaluate with colleagues.  Humility encouraged science. Low place is a place of learning

4)   Persuasive – “On Rhetoric” by Aristotle, he talked of logos, pathos and ethos.  Ethos is the character of a persuader.  Most believable because you have others’ best interests at heart if you have good character.

5)   Inspiring – Collins “Good to Great” – leaders maximize other peoples’ potential, the others are aloof and unapproachable.  Great leaders are approachable, they are humble and other aspire to be like them

Four tools of leadership

1)   ability

2)   authority

3)   character

4)   persuasion

We went through the cruciform of a change at Jesus death.  From the ancient times it was not cool to be humble but rather to be competent and arrogant.  After Jesus death there was a humility revolution.  Thus, when Moses said he was the most humble, it was self-effacing back in his time.  Now we would never admit that we are humble, it is a quality other’s see in us and want.

VII. Patrick (filled in for Howard Shultz from Starbucks) – he wrote “Getting Naked”

We need to be reminded, more than instructed

Ken Blanchard wrote about the power of vulnerability

Manifest humility by being vulnerable

We in the western world try to avoid suffering at all costs but this is counter-cultural to following Christ

Why is it so hard to be vulnerable? Fear of losing business or fear of rejection

“Enter the danger”  Improvisation like in tv show “Whose line is it anyway?”

360 feedback forms

1)   speak kind truth – terminal niceness – don’t be afraid of being rejected

2)   fear of being embarrassed – ask the dumb question, Celebrate our mistakes, acknowledge our humanity

3)   fear of feeling inferior

Do the dirty work, go the second mile service. What did Jesus do? he washed feet

Honoring your clients’ work

Vulnerability which breeds loyalty

Not easy, suffering pain

Answering the call

Don’t get rewarded

Do it anyway when NOT rewarded

VIII. Chasing Daylight – Erwin McManus, film maker, L.A. California

Read from Eccl. 1 – Meaningless…all is meaningless says the teacher (written by King Solomon)

McManus loves Solomon and his transparency when he says “There’s nothing new under the sun.” he doesn’t agree with Solomon though

Is. 43:18-19

There is a creative process.  God is an artist. We are part of the creative order if we are Christians.  All others who are not Christians along with the animals are the created order.

Creative order vs. created order

Some might say, “Let’s make history” and that you can do to leave your mark

Others might say “Let’s change history” which you can’t do unless you are an avowed revisionist

Let’s create the future, that is God’s arena

Evil men don’t ask permission to change the world

Good people sit back and wait for permission to save the world.

McManus was asked what art would look like after the post-modern world.

He replied, “Whatever we choose.”

Why wait for others to choose our future?  Why is Star Wars and Avatar beating out the Christians in art?

Focus on creating future God has in mind

We are to be cultivators of human talent, be a good steward of what we’ve been given

Acts 7

Shakespeare wrote “Others have greatness thrust upon them.”

In schools and life, the extraordinary is beaten out of us.  There are hidden talents

We can be the incubator for those who are creative.  Sometimes dreams are trapped in people’s souls

Human talent and the glory of God

You, even at your best, will never be intimidating to God.

The Christian world used to have the best poets

There is the false narrative

We need to reclaim truth telling power

Revival of great story telling

Truths lost in a bad story

We need to be cultivators of talent, narrators of humor, story, acknowledge the mosaic and the masterful. Do something NEW!!!

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Life “Under the Sun” in Kazakhstan

Our Internet has been down for over a day and Ken is trying to remedy the situation.  We are coping with withdrawal symptoms of not getting our news or e-mails from friends and family. Technology, love it or hate it.

Yes, modern technology has finally arrived in Kazakhstan, such as it is.  Our landlady called the other day to ask if there was a speeding ticket in our mailbox.  Ken told her no.  The only thing we get in the “snail mail” is the usual monthly bills for Internet, water and electricity.  According to her, there are now hidden cameras in specific intersections in Almaty that can catch license plate numbers which triggers a photo and time of speeding infraction.  She was afraid that she could get a worse penalty if she didn’t pay what might have been a traffic violation. Traffic technology has arrived in Kazakhstan to hopefully protect the innocent in other cars or on the sidewalks from predatory, high speed drivers.

Yesterday I was told by our British friends that a Kazakh woman who was crossing the street to her place of employment at 8:30 a.m. was knocked face down onto the pavement by an errant driver of a car.  Her colleagues witnessed the accident from the office window overlooking the street.  Brian, being the good boss that he is, took her to the emergency room of the hospital but she was not treated until three hours later when they eventually switched her to another care facility and three hours after that she was mercifully put into a wheelchair, given a glass or water but she was still bleeding all over.  An x-ray showed that her nose was broken.  She has many more bruises to recover from but at least she was not killed.  I know another American who witnessed a man get hit by a car, he was thrown into the air and he died.  It took her months to get over seeing that tragedy.


Moral of the story:  don’t get hit by a car in Kazakhstan even if you are legally walking on the white and black “zebra lines.”  Pedestrians don’t seem to have right of way here.  I’m not sure if the guilty driver in this recent accident will pay for the damages suffered by this young woman or if he will even be fined for his carelessness.  If he is rich enough, he will be able to buy off the system. In any case, it is good to know there is an ultimate Judge in matters being “under the sun” on hot pavement.




The book of Ecclesiastes, supposedly penned by King Solomon of old, has the term “under the sun” at least 28 times that I counted and only several times wrote “under heaven.”  Seems strange that a king of his stature, whose life was fairly cushy with a plethora of servants and concubines, would even be exposed to a moment “under the sun.” So pampered would King Solomon have lived befitting a king under fans of palm branches and under the shade of thriving grape vine leaves.  “Under the sun” seems more appropriate as a phrase that a manual laborer would use while picking cotton or cultivating the field behind some beast of burden.


Most all know that the punch line of wise old King Solomon’s life which depicts “vanity of vanities” comes in the last chapter and verse (12:13-14) FEAR GOD!  However, there are foreshadowings of this bold statement in other places of Ecclesiastes such as 3:14 “I know that whatever God does, It shall be forever.  Nothing can be added to it, and nothing taken from it.  God does it, that men should fear before Him.”


Also in 5:7 we are warned to keep our vows: “For in the multitude of dreams and many words there is also vanity.  But FEAR GOD!”  And again in 7:18b “…For he who fears God will escape them all.”  We can take hope in 8:12 “Though a sinner does evil a hundred times and his days are prolonged, yet I surely know that it will be well with those who FEAR GOD, who fear before Him.”


Finally, the whole duty of man is summed up with, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: “FEAR GOD and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.  For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether it is good or whether it is evil.”


Of course, Ecclesiastes has other familiar quotes of wisdom, such as from chapter 3: “to everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven. A time to be born, and a time to die…a time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance…”  Or later in verse 11: “He has made everything beautiful in its time.  Also, He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.”

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