Here are 40 Leadership Principles from the books of 1 & 2 Kings! These are all the Kings (and 1 Queen) of Israel and Judah that are listed in these books. You might notice that some of these kings only reigned for a couple of days and have no more than a verse or two in Scripture. I hope you are encouraged, and see that no matter how small your story seems, God can do something great with it!
- Solomon 1 Kings 1 – 11
Sin is a slope, and you may not notice over time the effect it has on your principles. What begins as indulgence leads to idolatry. Having good intentions is not enough to keep you in your calling, you have to refuse to compromise to fit the culture you’re surrounded by.
- Rehoboam 1 Kings 12:1-24, 14:21-31
Seek and listen to the wisdom of those who have more life experience and are wiser than you are. Humility is at the core of great leadership.
- Jeroboam 1 Kings 11:26 – 14:20
It doesn’t matter how much skill and potential you have as a leader, if your heart is not in line with the Lord you will not fulfill your calling. Leaders need skillful hands and a pure heart.
- Nadab 1 Kings 14:20, 15:25-26
You can extend the length of your reign by partnering with the Lord for His purposes.
- Abijam 1 Kings 14:31 – 15:8
Leaders cannot sit and watch atrocities happen, but must take action even if it costs them popularity.
- Asa 1 Kings 15:8-24
Family and friends should not get special permission to rebel against the Lord. Leaders have to hold their loved ones accountable to the same standard they have for others.
- Baasha 1 Kings 15:15 – 16:6
Relying on your own strength will only get you so far, leaders who rely on God’s strength will see their victories multiplied.
- Elah 1 Kings 16:8-10
As a leader, you should know the character of the people you hire. Surround yourself with those who are trustworthy.
- Zimri 1 Kings 16:9-20
Tearing down other people will not ensure your success.
- Omri 1 Kings 16:16-28
Leaders should build respect with the people under them instead of only trying to impress the people over them.
- Ahab 1 Kings 16:29 – 22:40
Insecure leaders are dangerous leaders. You need to cultivate a relationship with the Lord where He is your source of direction and security so that you’re not easily swayed by others opinions.
- Jehoshaphat 1 Kings 22:2-50
If you only aim for what you’ve seen other succeed at, you can miss the opportunity to achieve more. Following in someone else’s steps will only take you so far.
- Ahaziah 1 Kings 22:40 – 2 Kings 1:18
Someone who promises easy gain at no cost should raise a red flag, and should be measured against the truth of Scripture and the character of God.
- Joram 1 Kings 22:50, 2 Kings 1:17, 8:16-25
If you yoke with unbelievers you will be open to temptation.
- Jehoram 2 Kings 1:17
Other people’s prayers and prophecies will not fix what is broken if the leader refuses to obey the Lord.
- Ahaziah 2 Kings 8:25 – 11:1
Young leaders need to take time to decide what values they will hold before accepting a position.
- Jehu 2 Kings 9:2 – 10:36
Your convictions will drive your actions, and a leader must allow God to determine their convictions.
- Jehoahaz 2 Kings 10:35 – 13:9
Leaders need to lead the way in repentance and model it well for their people. True repentance brings evident change.
- Athaliah 2 Kings 11:1-16
A good leader is also a servant, and someone that other people want to support.
- Joash 2 Kings 11:2 – 12:21
Leaders can help train the next generation by providing solid teaching and inspiration from a young age.
- Jehoash 2 Kings 13:10-24, 14:8-16
No matter how short of a reign a leader has, they have an opportunity to make real change and progress if they partner with the Lord.
- Amaziah 2 Kings 14:1-17
If you reach beyond what God is giving you, you lose the covering you need from Him. Be sensitive to the boundaries God has given you and honour them.
- Azariah 2 Kings 15:1-7
God longs to give direction to your professional life as well as your personal life. Seek His heart for both.
- Jeroboam II 2 Kings 14:23-29
God can use any leader to accomplish His purposes, even those no one else would choose. He is faithful to His word.
- Zechariah 2 Kings 14:29
Leaders need prayer covering to fulfill the purposes the Lord has for them.
- Shallum 2 Kings 15:10-15
Leaders are appointed by God, and shouldn’t try to control or manipulate circumstances to get the position they want.
- Menahem 2 Kings 15:14-22
Just because you have the power to do something, doesn’t mean you should. Restraint is a valuable quality for a leader.
- Pekahiah 2 Kings 15:22-26
No matter how much territory God gives you as a leader, you need to choose faithfulness in that place.
- Pekah 2 Kings 15:25-31
The sins you commit as a leader have consequences, and you cannot avoid them without repentance.
- Hoshea 2 Kings 15:30, 17:1-6
When you are facing an enemy stronger than you are, God is willing and available to help you win the battle.
- Jotham 2 Kings 15:32-38
Leaders need to cultivate an intimate relationship with the Lord before a crisis hits, so that when they are under pressure they can quickly discern His will.
- Ahaz 2 Kings 15:38 – 16:20
Looking for answers from sources other than God will lead to your destruction.
- Hezekiah 2 Kings 16:20
A private prayer life should be a priority for every leader.
- Manasseh 2 Kings 20:21 – 21:18
Leaders should gather information from those who have gone before them and learn from both their failures and successes.
- Amon 2 Kings 21:18-26
Leaders get to choose if they will serve themselves or the Lord, but they don’t get to choose the consequences of that choice.
- Josiah 2 Kings 21:26 – 23:30
Leaders that are open to criticism can use it to improve the culture of their workspace, but if they are easily offended any criticism will bring destruction. The difference is humility.
- Jehoahaz 2 Kings 23:30-35
If a leader is only focused on their legacy, they will miss the bigger picture of what God wants to build for future generations.
- Jehoiakim 2 Kings 23:34 – 24:6
Leaders need to be aware of what season they are in so they can make strategic decisions about who to partner with.
- Jehoiachin 2 Kings 24:6 – 25:30
If you feel like you are backed into a corner, ask God to give you His perspective and He will show you the way out.
- Zedekiah 2 Kings 24:17 – 25
A leader cannot hide and wait for someone else to fix their problems, they need to partner with the Lord and take decisive action.