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Then all Israel gathered themselves to David unto Hebron, saying, Behold, we are thy bone and thy flesh. And moreover in time past, even when Saul was king, thou wast he that leddest out and broughtest in Israel: and the LORD thy God said unto thee, Thou shalt feed my people Israel, and thou shalt be ruler over my people Israel.

1 Chronicles 11:1-2  

As the most influential man in the country, David was leading long before Saul lost his throne. Like it or not, position doesn't make a person a leader. A title may give someone authority, but not influence. Influence comes from the person – it must be earned. David had earned it, and Saul had not. Why was this so? 

First of all, David rallied the people and created unity.  A true characteristic of a leader is that they will always strive to bring unity among the people.  I completely understand that there are times when some people just won’t allow this to happen, but a good leader always strives for unity.

David also identified with his followers as family.  You know the old saying, “some get too big for their shoes and forget where they came from.”  David never forgot that he started out as just a shepherd boy on the back side of nowhere. This humility allowed David to develop a deeper connection with his followers, and they were inspired to follow him, not forced to. 

Because David sought God, he enjoyed God's hand and power on his life. May we never forget that it is God who enables us to do what we do.  If you are a doctor, paramedic, firefighter, law enforcement, etc., always remember that God is the one who gives you the health and the knowledge to do what you do, and that God will always be able to accomplish more through you than you could ever accomplish on your own.

Finally, David worked cooperatively with key leaders.  David always remembered that he could not do what he did without the help of others, and He valued the people God had placed in his life! God has placed others in our lives to help us accomplish the tasks that lie in front of us.  

“Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.” —Jack Welch