I had the honor of preaching for our church’s youth ministry last week. I started going through the book of Daniel, which is eventually where I preached from. As I was going through the classic true-story of Daniel and the lion’s den, I felt like he revealed a leadership principle to me that I hadn’t seen before in this specific story.
In chapter six, Daniel is one of three leaders placed to oversee 120 provinces and because of his great leadership ability the king was going to place him over the entire empire.
This is a great picture of leadership. First, you have the king who is completely confident in his role and knows who he is—the king. Second, you have Daniel who appears to be a better leader, more influential and has favor on his life.
The king recognizes this and instead of doing what many Christian leaders do—get jealous, transition them to a different spot (or out) or place a “lid” on them—he celebrates it by acknowledging it and placing him in a position where he will continue to excel and prosper. By doing this, he allows Daniel the freedom to continue to walk in his calling and the king benefits just as much.
It says a lot about Daniel who knows exactly his role—leader, but not king. Daniel was definitely a man of character who even after being wrongly accused still honors the king. What’s the first thing he says after being discovered alive in the lion’s den? “King, live forever.” King Darius is amazing because he knows his strengths and weaknesses as the chief visionary and leader and because of that his nation is blessed.
What say you?