1 Chronicles 11:2
“And moreover in time past, even when Saul was king, thou wast he that leddest out and broughtest in Israel: and the LORD thy God said unto thee, Thou shalt feed my people Israel, and thou shalt be ruler over my people Israel.”
One of the two greatest leaders in Israel’s history was David. Every king in Israel’s history was measured by how David led. When you study the comparisons, you will discover that no leader ever quite compared to David. He came from an unknown family that most would not have looked to for a king. He was the least likely to become king from his family, and he was the most looked over by even the preacher when it came time to anoint someone in his family to become king. Yet, when you read David’s resumé, you find four things about him that made him a great leader.
First, he never felt that he was above the people. The people said about David in verse 1, “…Behold, we are thy bone and thy flesh.” They would not have said this had he lived his life in such a manner that he felt that he was above them. A great leader never places himself above the people, but realizes that he is the one whom God has chosen to lead people in the direction the Scriptures teach. Position never makes a person better than others. If your position makes you act as if you are better than those you lead, you are not worthy to be a leader. The CEO leadership mentality creates a prideful mindset, whereas a servant leadership mentality comes from a humble mindset. You can help those you lead if you never place yourself above them in your mind.
Second, David led by example. The verse above says, “… thou wast he that leddest out and broughtest in…” The greatest leadership is done by example. Leaders should not be people who bark orders that they would never do, but they should be humble enough to show people what they want done by doing it themselves. Weak leaders motivate to action through intimidation, but godly leadership motivates through example. The greatest leader is the one who stirs those around them by example to want to do what they are doing. If you want to be a great leader, do what you are supposed to do and others will follow when they see the fruit of your action.
Third, David served those he led. The people said to David, “Thou shalt feed my people Israel…” In other words, David was to be a servant of the people. The greatest leader is the servant of all. I’ve had a few leaders ask me what they needed to do to get people to do special things for them, and my answer is always to serve people. You don’t acquire position to get people to serve you, but you get position so you can serve others. If you keep that mentality, you will earn the hearts of those you lead.
Fourth, David was able to make the difficult decisions. The verse above continues to say, “…thou shalt be ruler over my people Israel.” The hardest thing about leading is being able to make the difficult decisions that come before you. If you can’t bring yourself to make difficult decisions, you should never consider taking a leadership role. Leadership is not procrastinating decisions, but it is making a decision even when it’s not popular, but it’s right.
My friend, this world needs leaders with this type of resumé. The best way to be this type of leader is to be this type of follower. If you will follow with these attributes, as David did, you will find leadership roles will find you.