Note: The following is an excerpt from the book Lead and Succeed by Sara. J. Moulton Reger
David was the second king in Israel, and he was a great warrior both before and during his reign asking. This story of his leadership in battle was recounted at the time of his death:
David was then in the stronghold, and the garrison of the Philistines was then in Bethlehem. And David said with longing, “Oh, that someone would give me a drink of the water from the well of Bethlehem, which is by the gate!” So the three mighty men broke through the camp of the Philistines, drew water from the well of Bethlehem that was by the gate, and took it and brought it to David. Nevertheless, he would not drink it, but poured it out to the Lord. And he said, “Far be it from me, O Lord, that I should do this! Is this not the blood of the men who went in jeopardy of their lives?” Therefore he would not drink it. These things were done by the three mighty men. (2 Samuel 23:14-17)
David was principled. He prioritized what was best for the people and would not do something that could lead others to risk their lives, especially if it was only for his comfort. If David accepted the water and drank it, others may have been motivated to repeat the feat—or something similarly risky. David lived by an understanding that his actions as a leader had great impact on others, and he used his principles to quickly know what he needed to do.
• Document your own personal principles and how you desire to conduct business and your leadership responsibilities; it
will be easier to recall them when you need them to help you.
• Watch your words; remember that others are listening and are likely to respond to what you say.
• Think through the long-term consequences of your actions and how they may motivate people to respond in the future.
• Communicate the reasons for your decisions so people can understand your principles and how they impact your actions.