Gauging leadership effectiveness

2 Samuel 8:15David reigned over all Israel, doing what was just and right for all his people.

I must say that I am greatly challenged and perplexed by this verse today.  As a leader, David did what was just and right for all his people.  How can this be?  How is it possible that he led ALL the people well?  There must be a secret to his success; because there is no way that you are going to be able to make everyone you lead happy with your leadership.  There is no way to always communicate your heart correctly.  You will be misunderstood and will certainly make mistakes.  But David… he led his people well.  They always got what they needed from him.  Or did they?

This is the part of Bible reading called “pondering.”  So give me a minute while I do so…

Okay, I’m back.  I’ve come to this conclusion.  David wasn’t a people pleaser and he wasn’t a perfect leader.  He probably offended some people.  So when he says that he did what was just and right, it is speaking to his standing before God.  You see, David strived to be right before God. He strived to be a leader who walked out his calling in response to the Lord.  That doesn’t mean he didn’t make mistakes.  It means that all that he did for his people was just and right in God’s eyes.

Now I guarantee you that some people didn’t agree that everything he did was right and just.  If there would have been a complaint box for the king, it may have been full.  But his greatest concern was that his decisions were right to God, not the people.  As leaders we must operate on the same conviction.  God’s view of our leadership MUST be our primary concern.  We can get focused on making people happy – it’s the same thing we do with our kids.  However, we should be doing what makes God happy.  This isn’t to be used as an excuse however.  You can’t say: “people think I’m a jerk but that’s their problem.  I’m just doing what God told me to.”  If you really had God’s heart, you wouldn’t be a jerk. My whole point is this: If we do what is just and right in His eyes, I believe our leadership will be lasting and effective.