Story on Leadership for Trainers: David and Goliath

You might be familiar with the biblical story of David and Goliath. I revisited the story before the Delhi State elections in Feb 2015 when in an article talking about Malcolm Gladwell’s book “David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants” the columnist said that it explains the AAP win of December 2013.

Now since the meteoric rise of AAP was an enigma to me I read the book.

Malcolm Gladwell analyses and concludes that the odds of David defeating Goliath are not as bleak as they seem.

Firstly, David’s sling though it is portrayed as just a sling, is a devastating weapon. The stone that comes from his sling has the stopping power equivalent to a bullet from a .45 caliber pistol. And secondly, there are many medical experts who believe that Goliath was suffering from acromegaly, which causes you to grow but has a side effect which is, it causes restrictive sight. Goliath in the biblical story does, if you look closely, sound like a guy who can’t see.

So here we have a Giant who can’t see very much more than a few feet, weighed down with armor, up against a kid running at him with a devastating weapon and a rock traveling with the stopping power of a .45 caliber handgun.

David has a ton of advantages in that battle, they’re just not obvious.

Please read for a perspective:

“The Philistine army had gathered for war against Israel. The two armies faced each other, camped for battle on opposite sides of a steep valley. A Philistine giant measuring over nine feet tall and wearing full armor came out each day for forty days, mocking and challenging the Israelites to fight. His name was Goliath. Saul, the King of Israel, and the whole army were terrified of Goliath.

One day David, the youngest son of Jesse, was sent to the battle lines by his father to bring back news of his brothers.

David was probably just a young teenager at the time. While there, David heard Goliath shouting his daily defiance and he saw the great fear stirred within the men of Israel. David responded, “Who is this Philistine that he should defy the armies of God?”

So David volunteered to fight Goliath. It took some persuasion, but King Saul finally agreed to let David fight against the giant. Dressed in his simple tunic, carrying his shepherd’s staff, sling and a pouch full of stones, David approached Goliath. The giant cursed at him, hurling threats and insults.

David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty!”

As Goliath moved in for the kill, David reached into his bag and slung one of his stones at Goliath’s head. Finding a hole in the armor, the stone sank into the giant’s forehead and he fell face down on the ground. David then took Goliath’s sword, killed him and then cut off his head. When the Philistines saw that their hero was dead, they turned and ran. So the Israelites pursued, chasing and killing them and plundering their camp.

Curated from David and Goliath Bible Story Summary and Lessons

Larks Insight:

This story can be used for #Leadership, Strategy, Overcoming Odds, Comparative Analysis, Courage etc.

The debrief:

  1. Is this story relevant to your workplace?
  2. If it is, how?
  3. If it isn’t, why?
  4. What is your key takeaway? Why?
  5. How do you avoid being Goliath?
  6. What do you need to do if you are in David’s position?
  7. How will you incorporate this lesson in your life?

You may want to go over Why stories / narratives can improve your training?

Curated by: Lovely Kumar

Learn more and reach Lovely Kumar for training workshops or DISC assessments at, or 91-9899108659.