18 Where there is no revelation, people cast off restraint;
but blessed is the one who heeds wisdom’s instruction.
19 Servants cannot be corrected by mere words;
though they understand, they will not respond.
If the purpose of a restraint is not revealed, it is likely to be rejected. It is the responsibility of every leader to cast a vision for success, which allows each contributor to understand the importance of his work. Without vision there is neither commitment nor purpose, and even the most capable person is easily discouraged. Wisdom’s instruction includes the reason behind each command, often by contrasting alternatives. The blessedness of meaning and motivation are available as soon as the goal is established, long before the task is completed.
“Servants cannot be corrected by mere words; though they understand, they will not respond.” The only change that criticism is sure to motivate is a decrease in communication. If something isn’t being done correctly, a good leader first seeks to understand why. It is his responsibility to communicate clearly, and ensure that his team has what they need to succeed. Before telling others how they should improve, look for opportunities to improve yourself. It is easier to inspire change than to force it.