A king’s glory is the abundance of people,
but the lack of subjects is the ruin of a ruler.
The one who is slow to anger has great understanding,
but the one who has a quick temper exalts folly.
As a parent, I can admit to you that there are times when I’m a bit quick tempered. I do no justify my temper in any way. I know why I get upset, because in my mind, I’ve corrected our kids about this particular issue a couple million times, and they keep doing the same thing. What that would indicate, however, is that I probably need to get a little more creative in my parenting and teaching our kids how to behave and not that I should get more angry with them.
What I see here, however, is that having a quick temper isn’t just a folly in and of itself, but it can also exalt the folly I am getting angry about. By getting upset at the issue, I could actually be doing more harm than good. Instead, what I ought to be doing is be patient with my kids in teaching them the right way to act and react as opposed to reacting negatively to their wrong actions. By being slow to anger, I’m giving them room to make mistakes while giving myself an opportunity to teach them they way they should be acting.
The same is true in leadership. If we want people to follow us, we have to be able to teach them along the way. We can’t just react negatively to whatever the situation may be. By reacting, we’re just exalting folly. But, in taking the time and courage to have course correction conversations along the way, we not only gain understanding for ourselves, but we lead our people in understanding.
The way that we lead people will determine not only the quantity of our followers but the quality. If we want to be leading an outstanding group of leaders, we don’t necessarily have to go out and recruit the best leaders on the face of the planet. In fact, that might be a bad idea. Instead, we should look for people who are willing to be taught and shaped into the kind of leader they could be. Recruiting the best leaders out there could be bad because they will come in thinking they already know all they need to know to lead. Working with someone who’s teachable gives you the chance to create the kind of leader you really need instead of having to work around someone’s ego.
As you teach in this way, through being slow to anger and continually teaching along the way, you will find yourself with more and more followers. And that will be something you can glorify God about!