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Maybe we've lost it

Let me bring you a story straight from The Good Book, the Bible. I want you to really study the words uttered in the story.

The story concerns David who is considered the greatest king of Israel. Yes, The Author of the Bible did not recognize the Armani-suit-and-Gucci-shoes-grandeur-clad Solomon as the greatest king. He chose the lowly shepherd boy David instead. And if you don’t believe me, I would highly recommend that you pull out that book from your book shelf called The Bible, blow off the thick dust covering it, open it and go to the Old Testament, to 2 Samuel Chapter 23, verses 13 to 17. If you don’t know where to find 2 Samuel, just look up the Table of Contents. I can assure you though that that book of the Bible is located between the Book of Genesis and the maps.

Now here is the story:

During harvest time, three of the 30 chief men came down to David at the cave of Adullam, while a band of Philistines was encamped in the Valley of Rephaim. At that time David was in the stronghold, and the Philistine garrison was at Bethlehem. David longed for water and said, “Oh, that someone would get me a drink of water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem!” So the three mighty men broke through the Philistine lines, drew water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem and carried it back to David. But he refused to drink it; instead, he poured it out before the LORD. “Far be it from me, O LORD, to do this!” he said. “Is it not the blood of men who went at the risk of their lives?” And David would not drink it. Such were the exploits of the three mighty men.

Now you know why David was a great leader. He was thirsty. And yet he would not take a single drop of water brought to him by his own men who risked their lives getting it.

I was watching the news one time, and there was this huge company - who’s a recipient of the government bailout - insisting that a hefty bonus should be paid their executives because they “deserve it?”

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Maybe we’ve lost it. Haven’t we?

Somehow, society has lost many of the qualities that once made life noble. Qualities like sacrifice, passion, dignity and living life as a good example for people to follow, and honor.

“Oh, but these people are passionate people,” the same company reasoned. “They deserve the bonus.”

While the company removes jobs and deprives families of steady income, their executives feel they’re entitled to their bonuses. Because they deserve it. Now where’s the honor in that?

Max De Pree, in his book Leadership Is an Art, says, “The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between, the leader is a servant.”

But servant leaders seem rare in the work place these days. What we usually see are little spoiled brats bossing people around.

Greed is never good. Greed can get you what you want, but it robs you of what you already have.

If the business organization is doing well, then by all means everyone should have a share in the profit. But if it’s running on empty, and you have some bozos claiming that giving out fat bonuses to certain privileged people is necessary, then you’d know that, somehow, we have lost it.

A bank executive I highly respect told me, “Francis, the one most important quality I would like to see in our people is having a sense of sacrifice so that everyone in the company wins.”

Oh, how right he is.

Do not work for the bonus. Let it come and surprise you. Understand that the best reward for a man’s labor is not what he gets for it but what he becomes by it.

(Spend two whole days with Francis Kong developing your leadership skills this March 28-29 at the EDSA Shangri-La Hotel! For further inquiries, contact Inspire Leadership Consultancy Inc. at 632-6872614 or 09178511115.)

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