Lessons from the life of David (4)
David knew how to develop other leaders. He didn’t ‘use’ people to get what he wanted. He recognized their talent, gave them opportunities to serve, then rewarded and honored them. And as a result they were willing to lay down their lives for him.
In 2 Samuel 23 we read: ‘David said with longing, “Oh, that someone would give me a drink of the water from the well of Bethlehem”…So the three mighty men broke through the camp of the Philistines, drew water from the well…and brought it to David’ (vv. 15-16 NKJV).
It’s impossible to learn leadership without actually leading. After all, leadership is action. As leaders our natural tendency is to give others tasks to perform rather than leadership functions to fulfill. But if we don’t delegate leadership – with authority as well as accountability – our people will never gain the experience they need to lead well.
If you’re a leader answer this question honestly: are you providing your people with leadership experiences?
‘But what if they fail?’ you ask. Count on it – they will! But if you’ve picked people with genuine leadership ability, they will learn from it.
Dr John Maxwell writes: ‘As I’ve grown older, I’ve come to think of myself as a lid lifter. That’s my main function as a team leader. If I can lift the leadership lids for the members of my team, then I’m doing my job. The more barriers I remove for my people, the more likely they are to rise up to their potential.’ David developed leaders who became known as ‘mighty men’, and you must invest in others too.
‘So the three mighty men broke through.’ 2 Samuel 23:16 NKJV