A Simple Leadership Test
“David longed for water and said, ‘Oh, that someone would get me a drink of water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem!’ So the three mighty men broke through the Philistine lines, drew water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem and carried it back to David. But he refused to drink it; instead, he poured it out before the LORD. ‘Far be it from me, O LORD, to do this!’ he said. ‘Is it not the blood of men who went at the risk of their lives?’ And David would not drink it.” (2 Samuel 23:15-17, NIV)
I admire David’s leadership behavior in this passage. As a consultant to Fortune 1000 corporations for many years, I have witnessed countless situations where corporate leaders faced the choice of elevating personal and selfish desires over the needs of others. Sadly, far too many times they have failed the test. They not only drank the water, they asked for more.
In the business world, Corporate America has become a model of arrogance and greed over the last two decades. We have seen countless leaders work hard to leverage company assets, distort reality in financial statements and reports to Wall Street, merge or sell the business, lay off thousands, and take the money and run with little regard for employees and their families. It has been the rare case where a company president drastically reduces or eliminates personal compensation to share the employees’ burden in the face of falling revenues, reduced work schedules, and cuts to wages and benefits. Over the years, I have grown absolutely sick of seeing laminated posters declaring, “Employees Are Our Greatest Asset,” only to witness the blatant and unrestrained greed and selfishness in the executive suite.
I am encouraged by a new breed of leaders that is emerging across America, true servant leaders, who are willing to put the needs of others first. Child of God, I encourage you to ask the Holy Spirit to help you take your leadership to another level. Dare to lead with a loving and compassionate heart. Study the Gospels and pay attention to Jesus. Decide today to lead like Jesus!
Lord, thank You for Your teachings on caring servant leadership in Your Word. Jesus, teach me to put others first, to care for and serve them as You have set the example. Through the blood of Jesus and in the name of Jesus I pray, amen.
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