Every person has an inner circle around them. The success of their life often is the result of those closest to you. John Maxwell, calls this the “Law of the Inner Circle.” In his book, the 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership he says the Law of the Inner Circle is – “A leader’s potential is determined by those closest to him or her.” I’ve talked about being intentional around your networking as well as being mindful of your relationship energy, but one key to your success isn’t a leadership characteristic, it’s actually your relationships.
Learn From The Wisest Person Ever
As Biblical Kings go, the only King more popular than Solomon was David. David had that whole giant-slaying thing going for him. However, in terms of kingdom, it’s arguable that King Solomon had one of the richest kingdoms of all time. In fact, an MSN Money post suggested that at his peak he’d be worth $5.5 Trillion dollars in modern money. Good enough for 5th on this list. Outstanding when you think about how small his Kingdom was. The other four rulers ahead of him had vast areas. Augustus Caesar and Genghis Khan ruled large parts of the known world at the time, while Solomon had little more than current-day Israel.
Most know about Solomon’s request for wisdom and his riches, however many don’t credit him for collecting advisors. In fact, much of the instruction around seeking wise counsel comes from Solomon
In Biblical times, a King’s inner circle included family, scribes or historians, expert advisors and almost always a prophet. Some of these people were chosen for their excellence in their field and others like family were there by default. srael’s history of bad kings has far more examples of kings receiving bad advice such as Rehoboam or not following good advice such as Zedekiah. However it’s clear that all Kings had advisors. It makes sense that the kings had strategic and logistical advisors.The key person in this group is the prophet. Biblical Kings both good and bad loved to have prophets surrounding them.
A simple definition of a prophet is “God’s spokesperson.” Not all of us are going to be blessed to have personal relationships with a Pastor or a person gifted in Prophecy in the supernatural sense. However, many times God will use others to speak something to us. That’s called “Prophecy.” It may not be what you imagined, but simply put, speaking God’s Word or His Will to someone is Prophecy.
The goal for kingdom leaders should be to build an inner circle, dare I say a small group of believers that are more spiritually mature than they are. This doesn’t mean you dismiss all others. Sometimes in your life when you are struggling to hear from God (which means you’ve examined yourself and tried), you may need a fresh outside perspective. Seeking wisdom from others can be dangerous but if your inner circle are more mature than you are spiritually, they will often be able to nudge you back on the road.
The Danger Of Isolation
I’ve been volunteering at our church and in small groups long enough to know that one of the traps the enemy has set is to isolate people. Men are particularly vulnerable to this. The Bible calls Satan a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. If you know anything about lions and how they hunt you know they are looking for the stragglers from the pack.
The interesting thing about lions that they can’t really see individuals when grouped together. Their vision is great when it’s something small, but when they see a herd or pack, it looks like one big animal. This is why hunters and tourist can feel safe in an open-air jeep. The lion perceives it to be a larger animal than it can take on. However, a lonely antelope or a singular human would be considered fair game.
I imagine Satan has a similar view. Every attack he does seems to cause us to want to isolate ourselves. Guilt and shame are two of his most lethal weapons because they make us want to hide.
When we isolate ourselves from others the only input we receive is from ourselves. We get myopic in our views, we become out of touch. This is why community is key and why to truly lead the way you were called to you must be intentional about surrounding yourself with the right people.
The Quality of Your Adviser Network Matters
When you look at the kings of the old testament there is no doubt that they had counselors. The Bible goes into great detail to explain the advisors and mighty men of David for example. Many of the kings allowed a bad influence to essentially cut their reign short.
God is pretty clear that in order to accomplish our goals we’ll have to do it with other people. While Jesus didn’t necessary have any known counselors, he could not accomplish his mission without His disciples. No doubt, there were opportunities for Jesus to share His feelings of disappointment when not even His own hometown accepted him. He shared His frustrations and successes with them. He did life with them.
Timothy had Paul to mentor him, Joshua had Moses, and Esther had Mordecai. David had Samuel, Saul and Jonathan, Nathan and his mighty men. If you read the Bible and just look at the relationships, it’s easy to see that your closest relationships can often determine whether you succeed or fail.
Build a tribe that, “as iron sharpens iron” can help you grow in your walk the Christian walk. I’m going to ask you to go beyond the traditional church small group and be intentional on your quest for wise counselors or mentors to be a part of your journey, advisors in your kingdom. This might require you to get out of your comfort zone and ask someone to lunch or coffee.