The Leadership Style of King David

Essay by EddieOUniversity, Bachelor'sA, May 2010

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Leadership 1 Essay 1

Take one leader in the Bible, other than Jesus, and evaluate his or her leadership style from using the framework of modern thinking on leadership and your own theological reflection.


In her book "Leadership Can Be Taught", Sharon Parks (2005, p.3.) suggests that the study of leadership is "important for the common good" in today's "complex changing world". The term "complex changing world" could easily be used to describe the time covered by the early years of King David as described in 1 Samuel chapter 16 to 2 Samuel chapter 5, and 1 Chronicles chapter 11. This was the beginning of a turbulent Kingship for a dichotomous Israel, at a time of continual external agitation from their enemies. It was a time in which the type of leadership would determine the success or failure of the fledgling nation of Israel. Utilising contemporary leadership theory, this paper will analyse the leadership of David in his "wilderness years" whilst running from King Saul, particularly examining the way he led and influenced a group made of societies outcasts into a team.

From this team some of these "discontented debtors" (1 Samuel 22:2) would forever be known among "David's mighty men" (2 Samuel 23:8 - 39).

Dumbrell (2002, p.86) describes these years of David's life as time of "waiting patiently", but on examination of Scripture these appear to show David in a time of great personal testing and tempering. This time was a time of God preparing Israel's new King (Damazio, 1988, p.134), and a period of God "removing David's crutches" (Swindoll, 1997, pp 62-69). This season of preparation is a critical step between a leader's call, and the leader's release into the fully matured functional leadership role (Damazio, 1988, pp. 131-134). To analyse David's leadership...