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Timeless Wisdom for Modern Leaders 

By Per Winblad

King Solomon, universally acknowledged as one of the world's wisest leaders, applied leadership principles that are as relevant and powerful today as they were in biblical times. This article examines the importance of self-leadership. We will only be successful in the long run, if we grow in understanding how to effectively lead ourself.

Become the Leader of Your Life
There are timeless truths — universal principles and laws — in the human dimension that are as firm as gravitation is in the physical dimension.

If you drop an object from the roof of a building you know it will fall to the ground. If you do it ten times it’s not going to fall to the ground nine times and the tenth time go straight up in the air.

It’s going to fall to the ground every time. You know this will happen every time you do it. The law of gravity is there and has always been there and we don’t question it.

In the same way there are universal principles that create the very foundation of human effectiveness and interaction. These principles have, over thousands of years, helped people manage change, create personal development, and inspire success. When we live in harmony with these principles, they will lead us to self-development and long-term success. Such a universal principle is the law of sowing and reaping.

King Solomon says: "A man will always reap just the kind of crop he sows".

Our outcome and rewards in life will depend on the quality and amount of contribution we make. As we sow, so will we reap. What we throw out will come back like an unfailing boomerang.

Our Maker has given us the freedom to choose what to think and do. With freedom follows responsibility.

Our choices have consequences for us to be aware of. Certain choices create better results or reward than others. The Law of Cause and Effect is forever the ruler.

Our lives today are the result of a number of earlier choices and decisions. What we have given priority to learn, those whom we have chosen to socialize with, who we decide to live with, what we have chosen to believe in, and so on, all contribute to creating our outcome.

When we take new steps with regard to our beliefs, attitudes and our actions, we put into motion new development in our life and leadership.

What we are getting out of life will thus depend on the effort that we ourselves put in; how great it is, the quality of it and with what consistency we apply it.

Here’s a basic understanding of the idea how to live a prosperous existence with quality of life and personal maturity: "By the fruit the tree is known."

Solomon says: "A man’s conscience is the Lord’s searchlight exposing his hidden motives."

Unlike animals, we humans have a conscience, a moral compass alerting us when we act against our inner convictions, standards and values. Morality is what separates us from other animals and transcends mere instinct and learned responses.

This notion of right and wrong elevates us above all other creatures. When we neglect our inner convictions, we lose energy and self-respectBy developing an inner standard for our conduct and actions, we build the foundation for our strength as an individual.

Solomon says: "Have two goals: wisdom — that is, knowing and doing what is right — and common sense. Do not let them slip away, for they fill you with living energy."

The word wisdom may sound old fashioned and out of date. In the modern times we are living and working in now, the key words seem to be risk, speed, flexibility and being smart.

One of Sweden’s great philosophers, Alf Ahlberg said: "Our world is full of knowledge but lacks wisdom".

Wisdom is different from knowledge, experience and intelligence. Wisdom is how we use those qualities in an ethical and morally sound way.

It’s a deep insight of what’s true, right and lasting, something that every human being has to value during a lifetime.

Solomon encourages us to take charge of our actions by bringing them into line with wisdom and common sense:

* We allow our life to be guided by our values, not our feelings
* We let our decisions become more important than circumstances or desires for the moment
* We become strong and filled with living energy as we take responsibility to act based on a wiser and longer perspective
Solomon says: "Determination to be wise is the first step toward becoming wise!"

We have all the potential to grow in wisdom and have a deeper connection with ourselves and our values so we will make wiser decisions contributing to a more fulfilling life and making the world a better place.

Wisdom indicates insight, common sense and sound judgment, and to be integrated and whole as a human being. It will take time, reflection, honesty, the willingness to constantly learn and most important of all, to make the decision to grow to become a wiser leader.

Solomon says: "Hard work brings prosperity; playing around brings poverty."

Our personal maturity and our well-being in life are linked to our choice to take control of our lives and our situations. Instead of reacting to situations, we constantly choose our responses to what happens to us and make our own future from the opportunities of the here and now.

Important issues for us will be: What choices are creating lasting value? How can we find our purpose and really make a difference? What track will we want to leave behind us in "The Sands of Time"?

Solomon says: "It is better to have self-control than to control an army."

For most of us, private victories come before public victories. We have learned to take full responsibility for our actions with the knowledge that we can choose our response to each situation we face. In this election, between what happens to us and how we respond, lies our freedom as humans.

When we are carrying out this freedom to choose, we develop our "self" and grow. We develop and shape our character.

Solomon says: "If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done."

The freedom to choose means that at any given time we are able to start the development of our lives. It begins with a decision to take part in life in an active way. I am the central power of my continued growing, or as someone once expressed it: "God will help those who help themselves."

Development is always a step-by-step process, so begin today by taking the first step and then yet another step. Decide right here and now that you want to grow in wisdom becoming a stronger, more secure leader of yourself and others — and one day, looking back on your life’s journey, you will have that wonderful feeling inside that you really made a difference!

To become a wiser leader:

* Decide what you will sow and, thus, you will be creating what you will reap. Your outcome and rewards in life will depend on the quality and amount of contribution you are willing to make
* Use your freedom to choose how you will respond to what happens to you and what you will think and do. It’s not what happens to us — but what happens in us that really counts.
* Decide to take part in life in an active way — You are the central power of your continued growth.
* You are developing your life and your situation by developing your perspective in order to see opportunities and make choices that result in a new way of acting
* Discover your purpose in life - how you can make a difference
* Make a firm commitment to become the leader of your life
Per Winblad, founder of Motivation Consultant Inc., a well-respected international training firm, is recognized as one of Sweden's leading management coaches and an experienced leader in achieving leadership excellence. He is the author of the award-winning leadership book The Wisdom of Leadership — Timeless Principles for Greater Purpose, Prosperity and Peace of Mind, a best-selling book in Sweden that was recently released in the US.
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