• Randy Swaim

Faith Based Leadership: How You THINK, not How You Fight.

As we look at the historical story of David and his fight against Goliath, there is a critical thing for us to realize.  Jimmy Evans correctly stated that David did not win because of the way he “fought” but rather the way he “Thought”.  Let me explain.


As the story points out,  for days, Goliath acted as many in our world today would act in that he daily walked out and taunted the army of Israel and in essence called them cowards in that no one would come fight him.  Then enter a young man named David.  David responded with (my paraphrase) “Who is this guy that treats the army of God this way?”.  When no one else would , David decided he would take it on and this is where a key lesson for us is uncovered.  Many in the army of Israel offered David their armor and their spears and shields.


But David understood some Strategic truths.  He was smaller than most soldiers at that time so he knew the armor would weight him down and also he realized that the armor would overly restrict his movement and that would keep him from doing what he needed and slow him down making him an easier target.


When the soldiers offered their spears, David understood that Goliath’s reach was much longer than his and he realized that he would never be able to get his spear to Goliath’s body and he would never be able to strike the spear into Goliath.


David chose to go without armor and that allowed him to be much more flexible and be able to react much quicker than Goliath himself.  David also realized that the only weapon that would be more of a longer distance was the Sling Shot.  With this he could stand outside of Goliath’s range and strike him even before Goliath got close enough to do anything.  As the reader probably knows, David got his sling and picked up some good stones.  The outcome, one stone killed Goliath and David won.


A more Modern Illustration

 Let me offer a more modern example of this picture.  In 1983, the NC State University basketball team (with Jim Volvano as Head Coach) was not supposed to be in the NCAA Tournament but winning the ACC tournament, they were.  They became known as “The Cardiac Pack” because of the number of games they won in the last second.  In the NCAA National Championship game, they had to play Houston (at that time, the Goliath of NCAA Basketball).  They were called “Phi Slamma Jamma” because how often they overpowered opponents by Dunking the ball at the basket.  The game pitched Phi Slamma Jamma against the Cardiac Pack.

Many of my fellow Air Force Squadron fighter jocks (being from Texas) kept talking about it.   Like David however, I told my friends about N,C, State’s strength.  The Wolfpack that year had a real strength and effectiveness in Outside Shooting.  In the championship game, the only 2 “Dunks” were by NC State, one by Lorenzo Charles at the last second which sealed the victory for the Wolfpack.


So a couple of Key Questions:

As you look at your Strategic Plan, on what is that plan based? Is it based on a 70 year old out of date mindset and is it really appropriate to the situation and environment….and to the future?Does your strategic plan really maximize your organization’s and team’s strengths? If  not, what do you need to do differently?


Randy Swaim, Coaching for Relevance, LLC


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