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SOLOMON’S WISDOM AND DISCERNING MIND AS ROADMAPS FOR EFFECTIVE LEADERSHIP IN NIGERIA (I KINGS 3:3-14)

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

 

It is glaring that the development of any society depends on how effective the leadership of that country is. In Nigeria, lack of effective political leadership has continued to be a reoccurring problem. It is on this premise that the leadership situation in Nigeria is looked into.

 

  • Background of the Study

 

Solomon, the son of King David and Bathsheba, became king of Judah and Israel in the year 967 BCE until his death in 928 BCE.  Solomon’s wisdom has been generally perceived as focusing on his parables, proverbs, and songs, while his political and economic qualities have been overlooked. The expansion of Israel’s economy during the reign of Solomon was due to his effective political policies. Hopkins (1977) reveals that in displaying political and administrative wisdom, Solomon proved equal to taking full advantage of the unparalleled opportunity for economic growth and development. Consequently, the freedom from armed conflict, during Solomon’s reign, was a rare phenomenon in antiquity, looking at his predecessors.

From Jewish history, there was unprecedented development during the reign of Solomon. Internationally, there was bilateral agreement between Jerusalem and other nations which were very beneficial to the people of Israel and Judah.  Nationally, there was exploration of natural resources in mines and stone quarries. In was in this light that Louis (2008) states that it was Solomon’s political strategy made possible by his wisdom to be able to keep peace with all the rulers of Philistines, Jebusites, Hivites, Ammonites,  among others, which David his father fought against during his reign. It was this peace that afforded Solomon the time to be able to build a temple for God.

During Nigeria’s independence, there were excitements that the potentials of Nigeria, which the white man has been nipping in the bud, would materialize. There were prophecies and anticipations that Nigeria would be one of the countries to be reckoned with internationally, based on development political culture and robust economy. Odo (2015) writes that this optimism, hope and great expectations were regrettably misplaced. Shadows have been cast over the sanguinity and buoyancy of the faith of a developed Nigeria. After 57 years of independence, Tolu, kayode and Ilepe (2012:188) laments that “there is absolutely nothing to show for this fifty-one year of existence. Nigeria of today cannot compete favourably with its counterpart in the march to development, especially in the areas of quality of life, infrastructural facilities, basic needs of life and technological development.” One can see the pains of the average man, the hunger of the common man and cry of the less privileged, with regards to the economic recession and downturn necessitated by inept and ineffective leadership Nigeria has continually experienced. Corroborating this fact, Tolu and Dare (2012) state that the socio-economic and political development of any country depends greatly on the ability of its leadership to facilitate, entrench and sustain good governance.

 

  • Statement of the Problem

There are evidences of failed leadership in Nigeria. Of the several factors that have been discovered to have caused this is the poor state of mind of Nigeria’s leaders, particularly in managing the divergent human and material resources, and the lack of servant leadership due to non-consciousness of leadership demands. Furthermore, so many Nigerian leaders find their way into leadership without taking into consideration the demands of leadership. This is why they underperform when they find themselves on the leadership seat.

Currently, there are growing voices against the injustices of leaders. Nigeria’s political leaders rule with nepotism, tribalism, sentiments, and witch-haunting of perceived enemies. These have given room for a hike in social injustice in the land. Leaders tend not to uphold the law which they took an oath of office to protect.

Literature is replete with evidences of lack of wisdom and discerning mind on the part of Nigerian leaders, implying that this ugly situation would remain as long as the solution to the problem is not sought. Thus, the problem of the study is: What is the possibility of developing leaders with wisdom and leaders who listen more than talk in order have a balanced opinion in furtherance of the course of Nigeria’s development?

 

 

 

  • Aim of the Study

The general aim of the study is to examine the import of Solomon’s wisdom and discerning mind as roadmaps for effective Leadership in Nigeria. Specifically, the study determined:

  1. Solomon’s wisdom and discerning mind.
  2. How Solomon’s reign as King led to economic growth of Israel and Judah.
  3. What factors necessitated the peaceful reign of Solomon as King.
  4. The failure of Nigeria’s political leadership.
  5. The features which Nigeria political leaders could learn from Solomon’s political strategies.
    • Scope of the Study

The focus of this work is limited to the wisdom and discerning mind that Solomon asked from God and how it aided him in leadership. The leadership structures in Nigeria’s political sphere are explored. Effective leadership is viewed from the standpoint of I Kings 3:3-14. Nigeria’s political office holders were the target group.

  • Significance of the Study

The findings of this study bring to light the significant role of wisdom towards achieving affective leadership in Nigeria from the standpoint of I Kings 3:3-14.  It serves as a guiding framework for political leaders who are keen in achieving success in their leadership time. Also, it is relevant to those who formulate economic policies in Nigeria. Furthermore, the research shades more light on the need for religious leaders to play their role in helping and praying for wisdom and discerning mind for those at the helm of political leadership in the country.

This work is very important to teachers as well as students who will be interested in carrying out related researches. Aspiring leaders as well as those already in leadership positions will find this work helpful. This is because it provides basic elements that are needed in doing well in leadership position. Succinctly, this study will be a plus to existing body of literature on the issues of effective leadership in Nigeria, in the context of I Kings 3:3-14.

  • Research Methodology

The narrative analysis is considered appropriate methodology for this research work. Narrative analysis is an interpretative approach to biblical stories. According to Gorman (2006:13) narrative analysis is “the quest to understand the formal and material features of narrative texts (stories) or other texts that have an implicit or underlying narrative within or behind them.”

The subject matter is a narrative that deals with personal, political, and theological issues about the character of Solomon. The narrative analysis is used so as to allow the different aspects, historical or literal, to be heard and to interact. The methodology is important because it tells of events that precede the leadership of Solomon. In this study, there is an interplay of characters which is a critical feature of narratives. The life of Solomon is blessed with wisdom from God which forms part of a larger narrative of God’s promise to David to establish his throne forever. Also, the narrative analysis is significant to this study because it facilitates the transition from the meaning of the study text of I Kings to the meaning of the text in its historical context then to its significance for contemporary society.

The data for this study was derived from Journals, textbooks, commentaries, encyclopaedia, internet, and newspapers. The data were qualitatively analysed.

  • Definitions of Terms

The key words hereunder are defined based on their contextual meaning in this study.

Leadership

            Leadership could be seen as a process whereby a one directs and supervises the activities of a group of people towards achieving their aims and objectives. Sharma and Jain (2013: 310) see leadership as “a process by which a person influences others to accomplish an objective and directs the organisation in a way that makes it more cohesive and coherent.” This influence covers the authority and power to which a leader ensures that the objectives of the group are achieved. Tulu and Dare (2012) say that leadership is both the adhesive that binds a work group together and the catalyst that triggers employee motivation, thereby having a major influence on organisation’s performance. For Omolayo (2005) leadership is an essential oil that keeps the wheel of government working without any difficulty.

 

 

Leader

A leader is a person that takes up a leadership mandate and is a controller of a group of people or society. He is a person who influences a group of people in a bid to achieve a goal. Goleman (1998) remarks that a leader has emotional intelligence, self- management skills, empathy, and social skills to pivot affairs of a people. A leader is someone that oversees and makes sure policies made are for the betterment of everyone in the community. An effective leader is an individual with trustworthiness and integrity. Alan (2007) sees a leader as a person who influences a group of people towards the achievement of a goal. This goal must be attained for trust to be built on that leader.

 

Political Leaders

            Political leaders refer to persons holding office in government be it at the state, local or federal levels.  Steve (2016) sees political leaders as those that are in politics as a vacation. This is because politics is their profession. Hsin-Yi (2017) explains that political leaders assess the distribution of power and resources, build relationships with other stakeholders and make decisions that can have a great impact on the well-being of a nation and its people.

Effective

Effective in this work entails being potent, impressive, and adequate. Sinclair (1992:360) sees effective as “something that… produces the intended results.” According to Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Thesaurus (1993:252) effective means “producing or capable of producing a result.”  Also, Hornby (2006:468) corroborates this definition, stating that effective entails, “producing the result that is wanted or intended; producing a successful result.”  Consequently, the Chambers Concise Dictionary (2009:376) say that effective entails “having the power to produce, or producing a desired result.”

Effective Leadership

Effective Leadership is the ability of a leader to direct the activities of a group or of a society towards the attainment of set goals and objectives. Hsin-Yi (2017) explains that an effective leader is someone willing to listen to the needs of the common people and to represent them faithfully. He is someone with the courage to stand up and say what needs to be said instead of just telling the general public what it wants to hear and someone who is willing to make difficult (and possibly unpopular) decisions for the greater good.

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