There is a proverb about the sins of fathers. Solomon sinned because he turned his heart to worship other gods instead of being completely faithful to the LORD his God. As such the kingdom was taken away from his son, Rehoboam with the exception of one tribe because of the loyal heart of king David (Rehoboam's grandfather).
One father left a great legacy another left his in tatters.
Despite this, Rehoboam was still a king - a leader. But he was a weak king. One would have thought he was on the right part when he sought the elders for advice when the people came to him to reduce their burden. He told them to come back in three days and he asked the elders; 'How do you advice me to answer these people?'
Oh the folly of a king. He went to ask his mates - those he grew up with; rich, spoilt kids who never knew a day's toil in their life.
Without wisdom, he was advised to add to the people's burden. Say to them, they said, 'My little finger shall be thicker than my father's waist.' And he took their advice.
Leaders must surround themselves with wise counsel - people with the experience, knowledge, heart of integrity, compassion and justice. Your 'old mates' do not necessarily have the wisdom needed for making important leadership decision.
He soon saw the error of his decision because ten tribes of Israel rebelled and formed another kingdom with a new king (Jeroboam). Even though this was God's punishment for Solomon's sin, he did not humble himself before the LORD. Maybe, the punishment would have been deferred...who knows?
Leaders, seek the LORD and his mercy. Do not bear the repercussion of someone else's sin.
It was interesting to read in second Chronicles chapter eleven verses thirteen to seventeen, how, because of the acts of Jeroboam, the priests and Levites in the other ten tribes left and moved to Rehoboam's territory. Because of their presence, they strengthened his kingdom for three years for their heart was set on God.
As leaders, we need to see the godly people around us that are adding value to our sphere of influence and be opened to learn from them.
It lasted three years. Once Rehoboam became strengthened, he let the spiritual state of his nation to decline. Two years later in his fifth year of reign he faced an enemy - Shishak, the king of Egypt and he humbled himself before God.
He was given a reprieve, some deliverance from Shishak but his nation would become servants to the Egyptians for the rest of his reign.
In the latter part of his rule, there was no evidence that his heart was fully with God. He spent the period at war with his relatives. He ensured though, that there was a clear succession plan for the kingdom.
Lessons for leaders - immaturity, wrong counsel and inconsistency in your relationship with God who gave you the authority will ruin your leadership.