From the Pages of History

Stories, Pictures, Quotes & Trivia (and more) that tell the story of the world.

Archive for the tag “King David”

Leadership: Lessons from King David

​King David was one of the greatest leaders of the ancient days. Even today, he is remembered and respected as such. Garry Wills’ text, Certain Trumpets, categorizes him as a “Charismatic Leader.” But how was David so successful? There are some important
lessons we can learn from David’s life and leadership if we consider several things that made him effective.

​To get to power, David needed outside help. Israel was a Theocracy in David’s time. The God of Israel was awed and revered. That was why David was accepted so readily. God chose him; therefore he was the right man. When their authority comes from outside, leaders do not have to do much to build themselves up. But David actively cultivated a relationship with the Lord. “And David behaved himself wisely in all his ways; and the LORD was with him” (1 Samuel 18:14). He was a “man after [God’s] own heart” (Acts 13:22). Relationships need to be built and developed. No one is an island. We all need help from time to time. Sometimes, superiors provide much needed help, as God did for David.

​Wills rightly declares in Certain Trumpets, “the leader most needs followers” (13). David did not lack those. He “was accepted in the sight of all the people” (1 Samuel 18:5). They were drawn to David. His bravery was astounding and his character winning. Leaders should understand and get to know their followers. King Saul, David’s predecessor, was not a leader who was well liked by the people. “And every one that was in distress, and every one that was in debt, and every one that was discontented, gathered themselves unto him; and [David] became a captain over them” (1 Samuel 22:2). These men felt they could trust David more than they could their own current sovereign, Saul. Building rapport and relationships is the best way to ensure satisfaction and loyalty.

​For a leader, dealing with personal mistakes rightly is critical. Though David was one through whom God worked mightily, he was human as well. One notable example of his fallibility is the incident with Bathsheba. She was the wife of one of David’s generals, but that didn’t stop David from taking her to be his wife, killing her husband in the process. For a time, the incident went undiscovered but, when confronted by the prophet Nathan, David was convicted. He immediately and sincerely repented. Other times, David acted out of selfishness but, when God spoke to him or sent someone to speak to him, David realized his wrong, did not make excuses, and took the consequences. Leaders aren’t perfect; sometimes they’ll fail. But when they do, they must always be ready to own up, apologize and make amends. It shows that they are not ones to just shift blame, but will take responsibility.

​This is not a comprehensive list, to be sure, but these are some of the most important qualities in a leader. Cultivating relationships with authority, winning followers, and dealing honorably with failure—these are things which David exemplified and which today’s leaders would do well to learn.

Leadership: The Perceptive Leader

Without question, styles of leadership are different in different times and contexts.

Compare Harriet Tubman with Andrew Young, who worked with Martin Luther King, Jr. They both wanted to help their people, the African-Americans. But they did so in very different ways, Tubman going the radical route and Young working diplomatically. Harriet Tubman’s focused, tight leadership during the Civil War was necessary because of the time of war in which she lived; she was willing to risk it all by going all out to help slaves escape. The goal of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Andrew Young was to win equality for their people in a different way—calmly and deliberately. Young, a diplomat, had to go slower and feel things out because of the turbulent times of the Civil Rights movement in which he was involved. Similar goals, different times, different methods.

Due to the Theocratic society that Israel was, charismatic King David, popular because he was chosen and blessed by God, was extremely influential. Because of what modern business is, with workers rights, unions and trade laws, a modern businessman have to use a different style of leadership than a 19th century factory owner would have used. According to Garry Wills’ book Certain Trumpets: The Nature of Leadership, “leadership must differ from situation to situation.” A leader that understands the times and acts accordingly is most effective.

However, some things stay the same for leaders throughout the ages. Arguably the most essential thing for all leaders, no matter when they live, is that they have to care for and understand their followers. Garry Wills accurately states in Certain Trumpets, “The leader most needs followers.” During the Depression, Franklin Roosevelt understood the need for encouragement in America and worked to boost morale as well as the economy. Harriet Tubman was so concerned with the safety of her operation and “passengers” that on her trips she would rather kill a slave than let him go back, because of the risk of betrayal. Business owners will not be successful unless they take into consideration the needs and wants of their employees. Considering the followers is one thing that must be done by ALL leaders.

A Lion in a Pit on a Snowy Day

Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, the son of a valiant man of Kabzeel, who had done many acts; he slew two lionlike men of Moab: also he went down and slew a lion in a pit in a snowy day.
~ 1 Chronicles 11:22 ~

A most intriguing Bible verse. This warrior of King David’s was truly remarkable! It just goes to show what can be accomplished in the power of the Lord.

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: