10 Proverbs for Leaders

While the Bible is not a book about leadership (it is God’s self-disclosing story of His creation, pursuit, rescue, and restoration of a people for Himself), there are incredible nuggets of leadership wisdom within the Bible. Because our faith should impact every aspect of our lives, including our leadership, we find great truth within the Scripture that should form how we live—including how leaders lead. Here are ten wise sayings from the Book of Proverbs that should impact how leaders lead.

On credibility:

A good name is to be chosen over great wealth; favor is better than silver and gold. (Proverbs 22:1)

On pursuing wisdom:

Don’t abandon wisdom, and she will watch over you; love her, and she will guard you. Wisdom is supreme—so get wisdom. And whatever else you get, get understanding. (Proverbs 4:6-7)

On leading in community:

Plans fail when there is no counsel, but with many advisers they succeed. (Proverbs 15:22)

On kind speech:

A wise heart instructs its mouth and increases learning with its speech. Pleasant words are a honeycomb: sweet to the taste and health to the body. (Proverbs 16:23-24)

On integrity:

Better a poor man who lives with integrity than a rich man who distorts right and wrong. (Proverbs 28:6)

On the impact of listening to the wrong people:

If a ruler listens to lies, all his officials will be wicked. (Proverbs 29:12) 

On the impact of pride:

Pride comes before destruction, and an arrogant spirit before a fall. (Proverbs 16:18)

On ignoring mockers:

The one who corrects a mocker will bring dishonor on himself; the one who rebukes a wicked man will get hurt. (Proverbs 9:7)

On longing for correction:

Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but one who hates correction is stupid. (Proverbs 12:1) 

On work ethic:

Go to the ant, you slacker! Observe its ways and become wise. Without leader, administrator, or ruler, it prepares its provisions in summer; it gathers its food during harvest. How long will you stay in bed, you slacker? When will you get up from your sleep? (Proverbs 6:6-9)