Books, articles, blog posts, and more have been written—and much more could be written—about leadership, especially biblical leaders. The Bible provides everything we need to know about this amazing subject. Throughout its pages, we learn about leadership in the home, world, and among God’s people. Each area deserves a focus, but that’s not our purpose.

I’d like to point out a time when Persia dominated the world. Here, we learn about the captivity of Israel and the rise to influence of a courageous woman named Esther. Esther’s position of influence with the king of Persia—which ultimately saved the nation of Israel—developed in amazing and providential ways.

From the book’s first to the last verse, we learn about leadership on numerous levels. We are introduced to the king of Persia, Ahasuerus, and the scope of his rule in the world. We learn about the arrogance of Haman, an egotistical leader who represents the epitome of how not to be a leader. We learn about Mordecai, a Jew who would not bow down to Haman, and in his hatred for Mordecai and the Jews, Haman established a day on which all Jews were to be annihilated.

Mordecai reminds Esther of her heritage and position in what has become the most famous section of the text:

Do not imagine that you in the king’s palace can escape any more than all the Jews. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place and you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?” …Esther 4:13–14

Providential? Mordecai thought so.

Once Esther revealed Haman’s plot to the king, he was so enraged that he sentenced Haman to hang on the gallows he had built for Mordecai. Mordecai was then elevated to second-in-command. Later, we’re told his leadership was recorded in the “Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Media and Persia” (Esther 10:2).

Where I’m headed is in the last verse of the book:

“For Mordecai the Jew was second only to King Ahasuerus, and great among the Jews and in favor with his many kinsmen, for Mordecai was one who sought the good of his people and one who spoke for the welfare of his whole nation” …Esther 10:3

If we want to know how to excel as a leader, the last statement of the book provides an answer. May leaders today excel in seeking the good of God’s people and speaking for the welfare of the whole church.

Bob Turner
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Bob Turner is the current Director of SALT (Sunset Academy for Leadership Training). He teaches courses and conducts workshops in Leadership Development, Emotional Intelligence, Creating Vision, Strategic Planning, Communication, Conflict Resolution, Character, and Managing Change. He also serves as an instructor in the Sunset International Bible Institute’s master’s and doctoral degree programs. He and his wife, Sheryl, have been married for 42 years with more than 30 years of ministry experience. They have three grown children and ten grandchildren.