Handling Leadership Success
Whatever mission Saul sent him on, David was so successful that Saul gave him a high rank in the army. This pleased all the troops, and Saul’s officers as well… When the men were returning home after David had killed the Philistine, the women came out from all the towns of Israel to meet King Saul with singing and dancing, with joyful songs and with timbrels and lyres. As they danced, they sang: “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands.” … In everything he did he had great success, because the LORD was with him. … But all Israel and Judah loved David, because he led them in their campaigns. … Then Saul ordered his attendants: “Speak to David privately and say, ‘Look, the king likes you, and his attendants all love you; now become his son-in-law.’ ” … The Philistine commanders continued to go out to battle, and as often as they did, David met with more success than the rest of Saul’s officers, and his name became well known. 1 Samuel 18:5-7, 14, 16, 22, 30 NIV
Note the progression of David’s popularity. First he was exalted above his siblings when anointed by Samuel as a young man. Next he was honored in front of king Saul and the army when he killed Goliath. Honored by Saul with army rank, he now outranked his brothers! Songs were song about him and his success and it was obvious to all that God’s hand of blessing was on David. He found favor in the eyes of the king and married into the king’s family with its accompanying social status. And wherever David went he met with success. The result was, “his name became well known” and his personal power and prestige grew.
It was Abraham Lincoln who said, “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character give him power.” With increased leadership success comes fame and personal influence. Others will want to be associated with you, for to be called your ‘friend’ is a plus. Your popularity opens doors and with leadership success comes more leadership opportunities.
Be careful how you walk! Be careful who you associate with! Be careful who you lend your endorsement to! For it is not your name, but the Lord’s name that is truly great! Be careful not to exalt yourself.
Remember Jeremiah’s counsel to his servant in Jeremiah 45:5 ESV, “And do you seek great things for yourself? Seek them not…”
And never forget Paul’s exhortation in Romans 12:3 NLT, “Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us.”
How are you handling your success, notoriety, popularity, promotion, and fame?