When I read John Maxwell's book, 'The 360 Degree Leader,' my views on leadership and influencing was changed forever. Leadership is not just about being in a position of authority; it's about influencing - you lead when you influence people's action, opinion, behaviour and views.
A man named Daniel was a slave, yet he had tremendous influence in the lives of four powerful kings during his lifetime. During the reign of the first king, he was made what we would call the Provincial Governor and Chief Administrator, he became the third ruler of the whole nation during the rule of the second king, Daniel distinguished himself above all other leaders that he was put in charge over all the kingdom during the reign of the third king; one who loved Daniel greatly. Daniel prospered during the reign of the fourth king. Not bad for a slave!
How did Daniel have such a multi-government spreading influence for over seventy years? He demonstrated such wisdom, knowledge and understanding that no one else could compete with. He was a man that studied (the right books) and was trusted by all the kings - to always tell them the truth. An excellent spirit - wisdom, knowledge and understanding were in him, the output of which was seen in the ability to interpret dreams, solve riddles and explain enigmas - he was a problem solver and solution giver.
As God centred leaders, we can gain some valuable lessons for our leadership journey from the principles and ethics with which he lived his life:
He purposed in his heart early on, in his life as a slave that he would not defile himself. Irrespective of where he lives and what he would be required to do as a slave, he will stay true in his heart to his God. As a result, the Spirit of the Holy God was in him, even the pagan worshippers acknowledged this. In the area of his responsibilities, he was faithful - there was no error or fault found in him. He lived and worked with the utmost integrity, neither corrupt nor negligent.
Daniel; a slave who became an inspiration to Kings.
''Do you see a man who excels in his work? He will stand before kings; He will not stand before unknown men'' Proverbs 22:29