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He that has no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down without walls (Proverbs 25:28).

He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that rules his spirit than he that takes a city (Proverbs 16:32).

If we consider leadership to be the ability to show the way, give direction and rally forces to achieve a specific goal, then the above passages are simply telling us that we must be able to give ourselves direction, be able to identify and positions ourselves on the right path before ever attempt help others achieve the same goal.

The first passage suggests that the inability to rules one’s spirit, that is, to lead oneself leads to disorder and chaos.

  • Lack of self-control or restrain
  • In ability to defend oneself from intruders
  • Vulnerability to invasions of all kinds

This is the image of a city that is broken down and without walls. There is no telling what could happen to it at any given time.

The second passage talks about the importance of developing self-discipline and self-rule; then we can steer others in the same direction.

How can I possibly rule the city I just conquered if I can’t rule my own spirit? Do I have control over my…

  • Emotions?
  • Temperament?
  • Appetite and desires?
  • Attitude and responses?

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  • How do I react in the face of opposition?
  • How do I act or react when I’m angry?
  • What is my attitude when I realize I made a mistake?
  • How do I handle my desire and appetite, especially when they seem to get out of control?
  • Can I say ‘yes’ even when everything in me is saying ‘no’?

Every human being is called to lead in one way or the other.

We lead in the home, in the classroom, in church or at the job. Sometimes we spontaneously find ourselves in a leadership position we hardly anticipated a few minutes back; for instance helping children across a buy street or supervising a rescue mission we run into.

The way we handle ourselves will determine how well we lead those we are responsible for.


Emotion-driven and Purpose-driven leadership

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I’m not happy with you, you’re fired

I’m happy today, we’re having a party

I’m feeling depressed, let’s postpone the meeting

I’m discouraged, let’s give up on the project

I’m not interested in this, we won’t go in that direction

I like her very much, she can do as she pleases

I’m excited, lets start a new project

I don’t like the way he speaks, I won’t hire him

I’m feeling guilty, I won’t take another initiative


What are our priorities?

who can provide what we need?

How can we improve our production?

what resources do we need?

what extra effort is needed?

what is our target?

what amount of risk is acceptable?

what image do we want to portray?

who is being positively impacted by our services?