Every student of leadership would be wise to learn from the champions chronicled in the greatest best seller of all time – the Bible. Studying the lives of world-changers is smart. The Bible offers a hall of fame that includes dozens of those whose influence and impact has remained relevant for thousands of years. That’s quite a legacy!
The epic story of David and Goliath has always been one of my favorites. So much so, that Slingshot Success, one of my business leadership courses, is branded around this legendary story.
Thus, when my talented long-time friends Paul and Delores Gully wrote and illustrated newly published “A Giant Headache“, I greatly anticipated reading it. It’s a quick read – primarily because it’s a children’s book. If you have children or grandchildren, both of the Gully’s new books are likely to be their first picks at story time. These books are so well done, kids of all ages can fully appreciate them.
Consider the countless generations who have been inspired by David’s boldness the day he pulled out his slingshot and killed the infamous giant, Goliath. The majority thought Goliath was too big to fight – David thought he was too big to miss. Perspective is everything.
David’s epic victory that day was the public beginning of the journey of a boy who would become a great king and influence the destiny of a nation. If you are a child of God, you are are a king too. The journey to wearing a crown is fraught with obstacles. Some of the biggest can be the giants in your own head.
I’ve drawn seven lessons from the legendary encounter of David and Goliath that are as relevant today as they were centuries ago. Methods change, but principles are timeless.
Seven Principles for Slaying The Giants in Your Life
1) There are more forces working against you than those that are for you. This doesn’t mean that those forces have more power or authority, but if the way isn’t smooth, the opposition shouldn’t come as a shock. Giants don’t yield their territorial hold with a polite shrug. When you get on target with the task you’re uniquely gifted to accomplish, the resistance you face is actually likely to increase for a season. If you don’t quit, it will make you stronger.
2) Feelings of inadequacy are normal. You don’t have to feel adequate as long as you know you are not in this alone. David overcame an enemy no one else was willing to fight. He wasn’t deluded into thinking he was the most powerful warrior in the land, but he did know his identity in relationship to God. That was key.
3) Expect criticism – especially from friends and family. David’s brothers were scornful and belittling, but he disregarded their negativity and pressed through until he had audience with the king. Get critical information on which you base decisions directly from the source, lest the facts be tainted by naysayers.
4) Beware of well-meaning advice that doesn’t apply to you. Guidance offered with the best intentions can still be utterly wrong. King Saul thought David should wear the king’s armor. The armor didn’t fit and it wasn’t a strength for the young David. Thankfully, he went with his gut feeling and not the recommendation of others.
5) Show up. More deals have been closed, contracts have been rewarded and sales have been made by average people with above-average work ethic. Being present at the moment of decision is critical to success. David’s legendary victory was magnified by the fact that no one else was willing to step up to the plate.
6) Know your strengths. Train and prepare with vigilance as you watch for the opportunity to apply what you’ve learned. David didn’t have experience with slaying giants, but he had killed his share of lions and bears as a shepherd boy.
7) Feed your faith and starve your fear. Know that when you trust in the power God and don’t try to do everything in your own strength, mighty forces will come to your aid. You are armed for battle and destined to win. But you don’t do so by hanging out with the scoffers and unbelievers. You do so by facing the giant.
As a student of leadership, I find the timeless lessons from biblical heroes fascinating. It’s never too soon to begin training leaders – generational leadership should be intentional. Amazon has both of the Gully’s new books for your littlest leaders. If you’re ready for the king-sized program, contact me about Slingshot Success. David experienced an epic victory by starting right where he was in life and using what was in his hand. What’s in your hand?