Proverbs 12:15: “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.”
Proverbs 13:10: “By insolence comes nothing but strife, but with those who take advice is wisdom.”
The Bible speaks highly of listening to advice and wise counsel. Now, when you are reading a book on a subject like management — take, for example, Marcus Buckingham’s First, Break on Rules — that talks about management based on research but isn’t seeking to expound the Bible, what are you doing?
You are seeking advice. Which, according to these verses, is a good thing.
By speaking of “advice,” these verses clearly have in view something other than biblical teaching. It surely includes that — such as when a friend gives you counsel based on the Scriptures. But there is also another category of advice that consists of just good wisdom. We experience this all the time.
When a plumber says “don’t put peanut shells down the garbage disposal,” you won’t find that in the Bible, but it’s good advice. When doctors say “don’t give A negative blood to someone with O plus blood,” that’s a form of advice — potentially life saving advice, actually (and, knowing this reality, it would be unethical to do otherwise).
So also when business thinkers and others do research on management and leadership and write about what is effective and what isn’t, and what serves people and what doesn’t, it falls into the category of advice. And the Bible affirms the value of listening to good advice.
So the best thinking on leadership and management, even if it comes from thinkers that aren’t writing from an explicitly Christian point of view, is still useful and important.
The Bible speaks highly of seeking out advice. And since advice, by definition, includes non-inspired general wisdom, in affirming the value of advice, the Bible is also affirming the thinking and research of extra biblical sources about matters of work and life.