David was the last son of Jesse and had been shuffled off to his father’s fields to work as a shepherd boy. In the fields, he had mastered the use of his sling to ward off predators from his father’s flock. Little did he know that his little armor will be used to fight a greater enemy, Goliath of Gath, How does this shepherd boy’s story shed so much light on profound lessons for global leaders?
When David offered to fight Goliath of Gath, the champion of the Philistines, Saul, the king in Israel feared that David did not stand a chance because Goliath had been fighting all his life, and David was just a boy.
In his limited wisdom, Saul kitted David up in his Armor, believing that this will protect and aid David to fight. It was recorded that Goliath had a bronze helmet on his head and wore a coat of scale armor of bronze weighing five thousand shekels, on his legs he wore bronze greaves, and a bronze javelin was slung on his back. His spear shaft was like a weaver’s rod, and its iron point weighed six hundred shekels. His shield bearer went ahead of him. Surely, David also needed to wear those armors, Saul thought. He was not expecting the next set of events that will forever be mentioned in history and have now become salient points for leaders all over the world.
Lesson 1- Young leaders must understand their strengths and weaknesses.
David spoke out. The armor was too big, and he wasn’t accustomed to fighting with them. Young executives and those seeking out mentors must understand that it is great to emulate their leaders, but it is crucial to first take a personal inventory and know what works for them. It should not be a mindless copy and paste methodology.
Lesson 2. Mentors and organizations must groom the individual strengths of their mentees and young executives.
Saul trusted David and agreed to allow him to use his armor. The job of mentors is to develop the leadership traits in their followers not to commit them to align with theirs. Your mentees don’t need to look like you or think like you. Help them discover their niche and become the best version of themselves. Encourage them to live their own lives.
Lesson 3 – There is an armor suited for you and your journey. Find it.
Prior to deployment in the US Army, every Soldier undergoes RFI – Rapid Field Initiative. This is an important process where soldiers are kitted with uniform, boots, and armor that fits for the task ahead. You can’t go to war with too loose or too tight boots.
The journey of life is like likened to a battle, and it is usual for people to offer you their armor to fight. They may mean no harm, but as long as it is not tailored for you, accepting it will be dangerous. Understand your journey and find the armor suited for you.
We must be diligent to choose the armor that fits because loose armor, oversized or under sized armor is equally as dangerous as not wearing armor in the first place.
There is also a tendency to over kit yourself, out of fear. Before you do, remember that while body armor provides advanced protection, it can stall your performance, and increase fatigue. Hence, you must not go overboard. Until it is required to resist a potentially lethal threat, it is essentially parasitic weight.
Lesson 4- Sometimes Extra doesn’t get the job done……
Saul’s extra armor can be likened to the extra degrees and certifications we burden ourselves with. Sometimes, all it takes is a few stones and a sling. Many worry so much about the earthly requirements and validations and they neglect the light that God has deposited in them. He has given us so much talents and gifts if only we know how to tap into the light and let it shine amongst me.