For at that time they came to David day by day to help him, until it was a great army, like the army of God. (1 Chronicles 12:22)

Think of any Highly Effective Leader, and you will find Someone Surrounded by a Strong Inner Circle. Hire the best staff you can find, develop them as much as you can, and hand off everything you possibly can to them. When you have the right staff, potential skyrockets!

You see, Every Leader’s Potential is Determined By the People Closest to Him/Her. If those people are Strong, then the Leader can make a Huge Impact. If they are Weak, He/She Can’t!

Examine the way David pulled together the Core People who made him Great:

David began building his team long before he was crowned king. First Chronicles emphasizes how many of the warriors who flocked to David were leaders (1 Chronicles 12:14, “ALL THESE MEN WERE ARMY OFFICERS; SOME WERE HIGH-RANKING OFFICERS OVER A THOUSAND TROOPS, AND OTHERS WERE OFFICERS OVER A HUNDRED TROOPS” AMP). David didn’t attract just anyone; He Attracted Strong Leaders. Who are you attracting to your inner-circle?

David attracted men of Diverse Abilities. We read of Experienced Warriors with a Variety of Skills – Ambidextrous Bowmen, Slingers, and Spearmen – many Mighty Men of Valor, and hundreds of Captains. With the help of those men, David felt ready for anything. Make sure your inner-circle includes a diversity of people (different ethnic backgrounds, employment, styles, personality, giftings and strengths etc…) they aid in building a better, more diversified YOU!

David’s followers Displayed Incredible Loyalty to him throughout his life. In the early days, three of his men Risked Their Lives to get him some Water from a favorite well in Bethlehem. Decades later his Closest Men stayed with him even when it looked as though Absalom might crush his father (2 Samuel 15:21, “Ittai answered, “Your Majesty, just as surely as you and the Lord live, I WILL GO WHERE YOU GO, NO MATTER IF IT COSTS ME MY LIFE” AMP). Those Closest to David always seemed Willing to Put Their Lives on the Line For Him. Do you have anyone like that in your inner-circle?

David Continually Gave Authority to Others. He Designated Joab as commander of the army, and he felt Equally Secure in Giving Others Civil Authority (1 Chronicles 18:14-17, “David ruled all Israel with fairness and justice. Joab the son of Zeruiah was the commander in chief of the army. Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud kept the government records. Zadok the son of Ahitub and Ahimelech the son of Abiathar were the priests. Shavsha was the secretary. Benaiah the son of Jehoida was the commander of David’s bodyguard. David’s sons were his highest-ranking officials” CEV). Of course, delegating authority always entails risk – witness Joab’s unilateral decision to kill Abner (2 Samuel 3:22-30). But Great Leaders Risk Delegation in Order to Reach the Highest Level of Leadership. Are you secure enough with the people in your inner-circle that you delegate authority to them?

The following Qualities spell out the words “INNER-CIRCLE”. Look for these Traits in the People You Depend On Most:

Everything Begins With Influence. If you want to extend your reach, you must attract and lead other leaders. More than twelve hundred leaders are mentioned in the list of warriors who came to David (1 Chronicles 12:23-37, “The kingdom of Israel had been taken away from Saul, and it now belonged to David. He was ruling from Hebron, and thousands of well-trained soldiers from each tribe went there to crown David king of all Israel, just as the Lord had promised. These soldiers, who were always prepared for battle, included: 6,800 from Judah, who were armed with shields and spears; 7,100 from Simeon; 4,600 from Levi, including Jehoiada, who was a leader from Aaron’s descendants, and his 3,700 men, as well as Zadok, who was a brave soldier, and 22 of his relatives, who were also officers; 3,000 from Benjamin, because this was Saul’s own tribe and most of the men had remained loyal to him; 20,800 from Ephraim, who were not only brave, but also famous in their clans; 18,000 from West Manasseh, who had been chosen to help make David king; 200 leaders from Issachar, along with troops under their command—these leaders knew the right time to do what needed to be done; 50,000 from Zebulun, who were not only loyal, but also trained to use any weapon; 1,000 officers from Naphtali and 37,000 soldiers armed with shields and spears; 28,600 from Dan; 40,000 from Asher; and 120,000 from the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and East Manasseh, who were armed with all kinds of weapons” AMP.). David had serious influence to get well over 1,200 leaders to come to his aid! With that said, if YOU were in trouble, how many people would come to your aid? How many people can hear YOUR name come up negatively and they immediately shut it down? How many would defend YOU (especially when you’re not looking or listening)? How many would put their life on the line for YOU? And please note, people like this Don’t Come Easy, they do what they do because of how YOU’VE Influenced them…so How’s Your Influence?

WHO people know is just as important as WHAT they know. When David hid from Saul, he was able to escape with the help of those who cared about him. When creating an inner-circle make sure you are surrounded by Capable and Concerned People! Those who are assets and not liabilities. Those who know how to get you out of a tight squeeze, even when you got yourself into it. Those who don’t care about your office, title, or position, but will call you out and rebuke you when necessary! Your inner-circle MUST include Nathans! Every Wise David Has a Wise Nathan!

People who care about each other take care of each other. Your inner circle should prop you up. Certainly Jonathan is the best example of a nurturer in David’s life. He loved David unconditionally, encouraged him, and guarded his life. Do you have a Jonathan? Well, you need one! Every David Does!  Someone who will willingly stick their neck out for you (even when they know in advance it will be chopped off)! Who do you have in your inner-circle that looks out for your well-being? And more than just your preaching, teaching, wiping your sweat or carrying your robe or bible.But someone concerned about your health. Someone concerned about what you eat, who you’re around, what you’re doing when the spotlight is not shining on you. Do you have someone who makes sure you go to the doctor, who makes sure you tithe, who makes sure you spend time with your family, who calls you on your gossip, rumors, lies, back-biting, negativity, nasty attitude, ungodly behavior etc…who makes sure you’re taking your medications, who will caringly but bluntly tell you to change your inappropriate clothing. Do you have someone like that? If not, Get Them!

The members of your inner circle should enable you to achieve more than you could alone. David’s mighty men Empowered him to accomplish incredible things. Do you have Pushers in your inner-circle or just Pullers? You need people who Push you out of your comfort zone, out of complacency, out of your stagnation. You need people who cancel your pity-party and press you to fulfill your potential. You need people who not only know what your gifting’s are, but those who will call you out when your sitting on your gifts! Who is propelling you into greatness?

Inner-Circle members should always add value. When David desired to conquer Jerusalem, he offered to make the man who led the charge chief over his army. – and Joab won control of the armed forces. (2 Samuel 5:6-10, “The Jebusites lived in Jerusalem, and David led his army there to attack them. The Jebusites did not think he could get in, so they told him, “You can’t get in here! We could run you off, even if we couldn’t see or walk!” David told his troops, “You will have to go up through the water tunnel to get those Jebusites. I hate people like them who can’t walk or see.” That’s why there is still a rule that says, “Only people who can walk and see are allowed in the temple.” David captured the fortress on Mount Zion, then he moved there and named it David’s City. He had the city rebuilt, starting with the landfill to the east. David became a great and strong ruler, because the LordAll-Powerful was on his side.” CEV) You can’t hang around non-motivated people and think they’re going to motivate you! If they can’t motivate themselves, they most certainly cannot, and will not motivate you! You need go-getters in your inner-circle, those who are pushing you and pushing themselves forward! So do you have people in your inner-circle with Potential, Risk-Takers, Faith-Walkers, Purpose-Driven, Initiative-Leaders? If not, Get Them!

The Character of an inner-circle member matters more than any other quality. People of weak character in David’s inner circle cost him dearly. But people of strong character often helped to steer him out of trouble. Be careful of having people in your inner-circle of questionable or weak character! They Are a Reflection of YOU! If you have character, but their character is weak, integrity doubtful, reputation under reproach, your spotless character is irrelevant! Like it or not, fair or not, People Will Associate YOU With the Company YOU Keep! So pull out your cleaning supplies and get to work cleaning house! People don’t walk through a mansion in muddy shoes, but they will do it in a shack because it don’t matter! Therefore, if you have mansion-character, get rid of shack-mentality-behavioral people! It’s For Your Own Good!
While every person is naturally intuitive in his area of gifting, that doesn’t mean everyone uses his or her intuition. As you seek members for your inner circle, rely on those who have learned to trust their instincts. I don’t care how gifted, talented, skillful or anointed you may be, You Always Need Folks In Your Inner-Circle Who Function From the Gut! You may not always agree with them, but they are Necessary people! They are often not full of tact, because they don’t have time to play no games, they just know what they know and they’re going to make sure you know it too, and quickly! Trust Them! Their “Funny-Feeling” Will Keep You Out of A lot of Mess and Away From A lot of Messy People!

Those closest to you should never leave you hanging. If you ask them to carry the ball, they must follow through. David’s companions made his cause their own. Your inner-circle needs people who see, understand and trust your vision and therefore aid in carrying it out to its fulfillment. You do not need people who say “that sounds good, I’m with you all the way” and then when it’s time to put work in, they’re on vacation, taking a sick day, need a personal day etc…Therefore, Do Them (and YOU) a Huge Favor and Go Ahead and Fire Them! They will only Demolish, Never Build Anyway!

You can’t get anything done if your people can’t do their jobs. You don’t need world-class performers exclusively, but all of your inner-circle people must perform with excellence. The skill of David’s people helped make him great.  Make sure you fill your inner-circle with people who make Exhibiting Excellence a Lifestyle Not Just a Come-And-Go Attitude! Consistency Is Key!

Loyalty alone does not make people candidates for your inner circle, but lack of loyalty definitely disqualifies them! David’s people stuck with him even to death! NOTE: Don’t Keep Anyone Close To You Whom You Cannot Trust. It Is a Recipe For Disaster!

Energy covers a multitude of mistakes, for it helps a person to keep coming back, failure after failure. Without tenacity, David and his men never would have survived in the wilderness, nor would they have made the nation secure from its enemies. Make sure your inner-circle includes people who do not get stuck in moments of failure or struggle. You need people that when the chips are down, they pull them altogether and start repairing and rebuilding. You need people who are not easy to quit and give up! People who refuse to be defeated even when they’re discouraged. Include in your inner-circle people who will still go with you to battle, even while badly bruised beforehand!
LOOK AROUND! When God wants a Leader to do something of Value for Him, He Provides that Leader with the Individuals to Get the Job Done. That was true for David, and it will be true for you. All you need to do is look around! Keep Your Eyes On Those Who Possess the Traits Worthy of Being Included in Your Inner-Circle!

Prayer for Israel 

Father Your Word says in 1 Chronicles 12:40 “….for there was joy in Israel” According to Your Word, “let there be joy in Israel” in Jesus’ name.

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