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Selflessness: A leader’s heart

Let’s examine an episode in the rich life of King David that is recorded in Second Samuel chapter 15.

David is informed about the conspiracy against his leadership organized by his son Absalom.

He has the man power and ability to overthrow this rebellion and maintain his position as king. This can be verified by the number and caliber of enemies he’s defeated in the past.

But David decides to flee. He leaves the throne and the glory and gets out of Jerusalem.

Why does the King decide to flee in spite of his ability to overthrow his adversary?

  • In verse 14 of the above passage he explains to his entourage that if he stays behind Absalom will destroy the city and endanger innocent lives. He does not want to put other people’s lives in danger because of his leadership position.
  • The selfless love he has for his son will not allow him to stand and fight even if he has the full right to do so.
  • He puts his trust in God and believes that the God who put him on the throne is well able to restore him to his position if necessary (2 Samuel 15:25-26).
  • David does not carry the Ark of the Covenant of God out of the city as a sure protection for himself. He gives priority to the people and asks the priest to carry the Ark back to the city.


  • Christian leadership puts God first, the people second and then self interest later.
  • A Christian leader considers himself/herself as a servant and a steward of God’s inheritance and grace. He’s not the proprietor.

What do you think about leaders who will rather see their people suffer than step down from power?


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Gifted people face a lot more problems in life. They are among the most misunderstood people. This usually happens because a lot of people just can’t handle the greatness that is manifesting in and through them.

Some are intimidated by their gifts; others are scared; many despise or feel jealous of them while yet others just can’t figure out what to do with them, so they end up hating or just rejecting them.

Do you fall in the category of very gifted people?

Don’t be surprised if you hardly fit anywhere; especially if you are aggressively pursuing a goal in life. The fact is that you are a threat to some, a stumbling block to many and a mirror to a whole lot of them.

Perhaps you remind them of what they wish for but can’t get to. You are a constant reminder to them about what they should be and be doing but which they aren’t.

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Never devalue debase or degrade yourself in order to fit in a box and be accepted. There are many more people out there looking up to you and being inspired by your decision to be among the best.

When people leave

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Every leader will experience this at least once in a life time; people who choose to leave rather than stay. You’ve worked together, you’ve planned the future together; you’ve even invested a great deal into their lives, then one day they choose to leave the church, business, company, brand …

This can be a fairly bitter pill to swallow especially when they leave at a time you really need their services. It is therefore important to prepare oneself against such an eventuality by keeping it in mind that no matter how well you treat your team members some will always have a reason to leave.

  • Search for greener pastures
  • Discontent about some issue (for instance your leadership style).
  • Call to other duties
  • Incapacitation

The list continues.

As the leader, your reaction to this will reflect your level of maturity and the quality of your leadership. How will you react to such a situation?

  • Brand them as traitors and unfaithful collaborators?
  • Accuse a competitor for taking away (stealing) your members/customers?
  • Accuse the devil for coming after you?
  • Just slump into your seat and hope it doesn’t happen another time?

Rather than look around for whom to blame why not do a thorough self-examination?

  • Am I giving them what they need?
  • Do I know what they need?
  • Do they feel fulfilled working with me?
  • Have I done something wrong?
  • Have I been listening to their complaints?
  • Have I departed from the original vision they submitted to?
  • Am I a good leader? Will I like to submit under my own leadership?

A good leader takes the blame first before investigating the cause.

It’s not wise to quickly name and blame others while exempting yourself from the responsibility.

It could be an opportunity for you to go in for self-improvement.

Very few people will choose to leave a winning team and even fewer still, will quit a place where they get satisfaction.

And if you think you gave them the best, but they left anyway, you will have a cool head and a clean conscience.

Some people come into our lives for a reason, some for a season and some for life. Get to know who is in your life and for what purpose.