How to Get Along with the Leader, part one of this two part series, described five biblical principles for a right working relationship with your employer. Here are six more.
1. Learn the Likes and Dislikes of the Leader and Avoid Angering Him
“The fear of a king is as the roaring of a lion: whoso provoketh him to anger sinneth against his own soul.” Proverbs 20:2
Notice that those who anger the leader sin against themselves. Sometimes you may feel the need to make a point or to stand up for yourself. Even though I believe in having dignity and respect, I never want to forget the position I am in as an employee. I may not understand every decision, but that is because I am not the leader.
I am not there to promote my own agenda; I am there to be a servant. I want to help and promote my leader, and I never want to anger him. We may win the battle, but we will lose the war. His anger only hurts me.
2. Never Analyze the Leader’s Motives or Decisions
“The heaven for height, and the earth for depth, and the heart of kings is unsearchable.” Proverbs 25:3
If you can’t trust the leader, don’t work for him. It is not my job to question him; it is my job to do what he says. If I cannot do that, then I should not work for him.
A man once asked me if he could sing in the choir. After counseling him, I said that he could practice with the choir but he could not sing publicly for about three months. He agreed to these terms and was excited about being able to sing for the Lord.
He faithfully attended every practice, and God changed his life during those months under the preaching of God’s Word. But then one of our members began to question why this man could practice but not sing in services. Many asked the choir director about it, and he simply said it was none of their business. A few more weeks passed, and the man was no longer practicing in the choir or even attending church.
What happened? Well, the man was on parole. He unfortunately violated his parole and went back to prison. The choir director was trying to save the man’s reputation. It is never wise to try to determine the leader’s motives.
3. Avoid People Who Seek to Undermine the Leader’s Authority
“My son, fear thou the Lord and the king: and meddle not with them that are given to change: For their calamity shall rise suddenly; and who knoweth the ruin of them both?” Proverbs 25:3
It’s easy to second guess the leader, and to promote yourself. It’s even easier to hang around those that do the same. The Bible says not to meddle with or associate with those who are given to change. Have you ever heard this type of conversation? “I think you ought to be paid more. I think we work too many hours. I think that the benefits aren’t good enough. I think they need to make some changes around this place.” Watch out—the leader will always find those who are disloyal to him.
A disgruntled employee will not hesitate to bring you down when he is fired for insubordination. If you passively nod your head during his disloyal conversation, he may try to make you an accomplice when he faces discipline. If you associate with those who undermine the authority of the leader, calamity will come to you both.
4. If God Is for the Leader, You Also Should Be for the Leader
“In the multitude of people is the king’s honor: but in the want of people is the destruction of the prince.” Proverbs 14:28)
God believes in proper leadership. Therefore, God invests in proper leadership. God wants this world to have some orderliness and some integrity.
One of the very best ways to get along with the leader is to simply pray for him. Ask God to make him wise and to help him be a good example. God, knowing your loyalty and faithfulness to your employer, will promote you as an employee.
5. Always Speak the Truth to the Leader
“Righteous lips are the delight of kings: and they love him that speaketh right.” Proverbs 16:13
The easiest and most frequent sin is lying, and it’s usually done in order to save face. Instead of admitting wrong, we just lie about it.
But think this through—if we lie about it, we never improve. A true leader is looking for an honest employee. He needs to know exactly what is going on so that he can find a solution. Proverbs 22:5 says, “The honor of kings is to search out a matter.”
6. Cultivate a Habit of Excellence
“Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men.” Proverbs 22:29
A man that is diligent in his business shall stand before kings. If I do the very best I can at my job, I will be associated with the leader. The leader likes to be around those who are diligent about their work.
Employment is a two-way street. If I work hard for my leader, my leader works hard for me. I know many people will try to refute this, yet the Bible says this is true.
As a pastor, God is my Leader. I have told my church many times that my personal financial outlay is not in my church’s hands, it is in God’s hands. David said, “I have been young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken nor his seed begging bread” (Psalm 37:25). As long as I walk with the Lord, I will never starve.
Just like Joseph, if we are good employees, we will be rewarded. As we pursue excellence, we will be faithful to God and faithful to our leaders.
God has given us several principles concerning our relationships with the leaders in our lives. If we will follow them, God will bless our labors.