Then he taught me, and he said to me,

“Take hold of my words with all your heart;

keep my commands, and you will live.

Get wisdom, get understanding;

do not forget my words or turn away from them.”

Proverbs 4:4-5

If there was one thing the father in Proverbs 4 wanted his son to acquire it was wisdom.  According to Solomon, if the son were to process wisdom he would find life, safety and honor.  Effective leaders need to take note of the teaching of the father in Proverbs.  Like that father, leaders are to urge those under their charge to develop the skills that will lead to their success.  And we know that those on our teams will seek the things we are passionate about.  Therefore, we must lay the path toward wisdom for them by seeking it ourselves.

Wisdom comes when we, as leaders, make an active choice to become students—learning and then passing on; seeking and then sharing.  We will know we have established a culture of learning when we will work in the purpose of what we are about, not the pressure of what we are doing.  As we build a climate of duplicity we will see others building on what we do because they are working from a foundation that has strength to handle the weight of success.

With wisdom we will embrace the vision and the passion of the organization we are representing, and with wisdom as our base, our passion can move upwards to those who are going into the field.  This is crucial because we know that in the world of raising funds we are going to have the most success when we are focused in and passionate about the purpose and vision of the organization we represent.

As our starting point shifts we will begin to see the change on those we lead and on the work that they do.  Layers of progress will begin to grow from this new perspective and those who follow us into the field will begin to experience another level of impact.  They will begin to understand that their commission is to pursue donors, not funds.  We will be showing them how to serve those we seek by knowing them, listening to their stories, ministering to them, and celebrating with them.  We will open our hands and quit hanging on so tightly to the bottom line.  When we are doing these things we will really begin to experience the power of our impact expanding.

This is what I want to express: our command is obvious—seek wisdom at all costs.  Our charge is difficult but our payout is beyond measure!  From a Proverbs mindset comes a people first model, from a people first model comes immeasurable success, from that success comes a far reaching impact and a job that is executed with great passion and purpose.

“Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you;

love her, and she will watch over you.

The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom.

Though it cost all you have, get understanding.”

Proverbs 4:6-7