Titles Don't Make Leaders
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 he became a captain over them: and there were with him about four hundred men. ~1 Samuel 22:2
John Quincy Adams said, "If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader." David was that kind of leader. David inspired men to achieve greater potential through his influence. He was a leader who motivated, modeled, and mentored. Let us see how David took a motley group of men and made them into men who were a force to be reckoned with.
We see their condition.
“And every one that was in distress, and every one that was in debt, and every one that was discontented, gathered themselves unto him.” These were not the most desirable of men for enlistment. These men had anxiety problems, financial problems, and attitude problems. It is likely that they were among the men whom David briefly managed when he was head over Saul’s men of war. It is also likely that Saul considered these men unworthy to be part of his armed forces. In leadership, we must understand the condition of those we accept to lead. A good leader can command men like this to follow. However, a great leader will inspire men like this to eventually become leaders themselves whom others can follow.
We see their commitment.
“He became a captain over them.” Commitment is when you pledge yourself to a person, a principle, a purpose, or all three. We see a dual commitment. First, there is the commitment of these men to David. They did not have much to offer aside from their lives and loyalty. They wanted a leader who could make them better soldiers. They wanted a leader who walked the talk. They wanted a leader who exemplified courage, vision, and a can-do attitude. They wanted a leader they could follow. Second, there is the commitment of David to them. David became their captain. He did not become their captain because he was looking for followers: he became their captain because he accepted the challenge and responsibility of building a kingdom, conquering the enemy, and making a difference in his generation. David was committed to investing in, inspiring, instructing, and involving the men who came to him in building a kingdom that would be second to none.
We see their capabilities.
As we get to the close of David’s life, we read in 2 Samuel 23 about the capabilities, heroic feats, and incredible qualities of these men. One lifted his spear against 800, whom he slew at one time. Another helped David fight against the Philistines until his hand grew weary and clave unto the sword. Another defended a parcel of land containing lentils against the Philistines. Three went together to Bethlehem at great risk to their personal safety to draw water out of the well there for David. Another defeated two lionlike men, slew a lion in a pit in the time of snow, and slew an Egyptian who came to him with a spear in his hand. These men were of exceptional qualities whom David inspired.
Jim Rohn said, "A good objective of leadership is to help those who are doing poorly to do well and to help those who are doing well to do even better." Titles don’t make leaders. Great leaders see those entrusted to them as their mission to train, transform, and triumph.
Have an inspired God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Exodus 25-27