The term “building alliances” seems to be replaced in today’s language by the term “networking.” Whether you use the term alliances or network, effective leaders pay attention to this function of leadership. Read 2 Samuel 15:32-36 and 16:15-17:23.
David used his resources to help others succeed. He genuinely befriended people and repaid loyalty. Because of these things he had loyal friends who were willing to invest their resources in his continued success.
Leadership is a gift from God. Everyone is a leader to some degree in their home, in a peer group, etc., but a select few are given more influence and given the privilege of serving others in a leadership capacity in their church, work, play, community, or nation. Wise leaders take their leadership responsibility seriously and understand that loyalty will be earned through their consistency over a period of time. Effective leaders understand the “two way” nature of loyalty and serve with consistency while continuing to strengthen the bond of loyalty. When the leader fails in their leadership responsibilities respect can erode and loyalty can be lost. Read 2 Samuel 15:1-37.
Sometime after he returns to Jerusalem following the murder of his brother Amnon, Absalom rises to power and assumes a position of leadership in Israel. In the intervening years he becomes a stronger, more forceful leader than his father, David. He wins the people’s loyalty.
A leader’s humility is sometimes measured by the manner in which they handle loss. Humble leaders don’t point fingers. They accept that even their best effort sometimes isn’t enough. On other occasions a leader’s humility is measured by how well they handle real or potential victories. Humble leaders treat even rivals with honor. Read 1 Samuel 24.
If ever a leader had a reason to grasp victory and gloat, it was David. David had been loyal to God and to Saul. He had not tried to steal Saul’s throne even though he knew God had anointed him as Israel’s next king. David’s only “crime” that had angered Saul was his devotion to God and the courage to defeat the Philistine soldier Goliath which gave him instant fame among the people of Israel.
Leaders that encourage their team have some characteristics in common. Read 1 Samuel 20:1-41.
Jonathan was King Saul’s oldest son and a leader in Israel. Jonathan knew David had been anointed the next king and even though Jonathan was the royal prince, he exalted and encouraged David’s leadership. He knew he risked his future throne with his support of David but Jonathan was so confident in what he had seen God do in David’s life that he became a source of strength and encouragement to David.
Leaders need courage, determination and healthy alliances to venture out and follow God. Read Ruth 1:1-18 and 2:11-12.
Seldom has a woman needed courage, determination and a healthy alliance more then Ruth. When she lost her husband, Ruth was left without any male familial support (1:4-5), a situation that in her culture left a woman destitute. In the midst of her circumstances, Ruth displayed great courage and loyalty when she made an alliance with Naomi, another woman without male familial support. She committed to go where Naomi went, accept Naomi’s people as her people and Naomi’s God as her God in return for Naomi’s love and care for her as a mother.