Leadership Qualities: Integrity
Dr. Kenneth Boa
After surveying thousands of people around the world and performing more than 400 written case studies, James Kouzes and Barry Posner identified those characteristics most desired in a leader. In virtually every survey, honesty or integrity was identified more frequently than any other trait. (1)
That makes sense, doesn't it? If people are going to follow someone, whether into battle or in business or ministry, they want assurance that their leader can be trusted. They want to know that he or she will keep promises and follow through with commitments.
>> The Integrity of Samuel
In light of this research, Israel's high regard for Samuel comes as no surprise. Samuel was a man who exuded integrity. Nowhere is this best illustrated than in 1 Samuel 12:1-4:
"Samuel said to all Israel, 'I have listened to everything you said to me and have set a king over you. Now you have a king as your leader. As for me, I am old and gray, and my sons are here with you. I have been your leader from my youth until this day. Here I stand. Testify against me in the presence of the Lord and his anointed. Whose ox have I taken? Whose donkey have I taken? Whom have I cheated? Whom have I oppressed? From whose hand have I accepted a bribe to make me shut my eyes? If I have done any of these, I will make it right.'
'You have not cheated or oppressed us,' they replied. 'You have not taken anything from anyone's hand.'"
During his farewell speech, after having led Israel for decades, Samuel promised to repay anything he had unjustly taken from anyone. What a promise! Even more impressive was the people's response. Not one person rose up to make a claim against Samuel.
Samuel's honesty and personal integrity permeated every area of his life. These two characteristics directed how he regarded his possessions, his business dealings and his treatment of those who were weaker than himself. Samuel held himse ...
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