Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 8:16
"By me princes rule, and nobles, all who judge rightly"
The reference here is to leadership under the influence of wisdom and that those who are good leaders are looking for the triple-win solution. They are not willing to settle for the easy, selfish-win solution or the corrupt I-win-you-lose solution. Good leaders evaluate their decisions on the basis of who wins if I do this. Does anybody lose, and if so, who is that? If it is anybody other than the wicked, then I cannot make this decision.
The key idea here is that Solomon wants leaders to think before they make decisions and not just act out of their own universe or their own little world. Too often what seems right from their limited perspective is clearly wrong when seen in a larger context. When you are in positions of power and authority, you must ponder how to bring about the triple-win solution and what the triple-win solution is.
This is the Hebrew word sar which is translated prince, chief, captain, governor, steward. This is a leader who is not the ultimate leader but still has real power. These are also young leaders who have been given authority to test their abilities, giving them real experience in leading, managing, and directing.
It is these people who must be taught to look for the wise choice. It is often this level of leader who can become corrupt quickly, looking only for how they can win and even being willing to cause others to lose so they can win.
This is the Hebrew word nadib which means generous man, noble, even prince. The idea seems to be that there are those who have, through their efforts, become wealthy or successful and are known as generous people. They do not have positions of power in government, but they have respected places in the community because of their generosity and service. They live out the idea of wisdom: others winning through their choices and actions.
This is the Hebrew word saphat which means to judge or govern. We think of this word as a person who must decide whether a person is innocent or guilty, and if guilty, how much punishment. This was not the case in those days. The judge was a ruler and a person who actually handled all the branches of governance. If they were to lead their people in a righteous way, then they were looking for the triple-win decisions.