I recently got to attend Catalyst. It was an incredible leadership conference that truly impacted my life. Over the next few days, I’m going to be posting my notes.
Session 2: Malcolm Gladwell
David and Goliath
- 1100 BC
- Israel is in its infancy
- Great enemy: Philistines in the coastal plains (near modern day Tel Aviv)
- Philistines march up the valley of Elah
- The way this story has been told in popular culture has missed the entire point of this story.
- David was an “underdog”
- A completely unexpected victory
- A win that shouldn’t have happened
Why we underestimate David
- “All He had was a sling”
- Reality: this was not a child’s toy
- The sling was one of the deadliest weapon in the ancient world
- Stones in the valley of Elah are barium sulfate. They are twice the density of a normal stone.
- Comparable to a .45 caliber handgun
- Slingers were capable of killing birds in flight
- In the ancient world, slingers were routinely devastating in battle against other warriors.
Goliath said: "Come to me.“
- His whole strategy is hand-to-hand combat
- That was the convention
- David ignored the convention and used a devastating weapon on Goliath, the "sitting duck”
Goliath = lumbering giant under false assumptions
David = nimble young man with superior technology who is filled with the spirit of The Lord.
David was not the underdog.
- The Lord does not see what we see. The Lord looks at the heart. (verse)
WE RADICALLY UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF THE HEART
David and Goliath
- We underestimate David
- We misunderstand Goliath
- He was lead into the valley by a guide
- There is a specific mention of how slowly Goliath moves
- (Your enemy is not as bad as you think he is.)
- He was oblivious to the fact that David had come with a different weapon
- He made a dumb statement, “Why come to me with sticks?”
- Many people believe that Goliath might have been suffering with
- Akromeglia (endochronoligists)
- Tumor on brain
- Can impair the optic nerve
- Could cause double vision
- The very thing that made the giant intimidating was the source of his greatest weakness.
- Giants aren’t always what they seem
- Someone with nimble feet, armed with superior technology, and filled with the Spirit of The Lord is NOT an underdog.
- Philistines great strategy: intimidation
- All David had to do to win was ENGAGE
- David’s journey began with his weakness.
- He was unable to fight the normal way.
- Understanding your own weakness can be the foundation of innovation.
- Your obstacles and moments of weakness are the opportunities for greatest learning.
- When successful explain their journey, they always begin by talking about their obstacles.
- David is marked by his refusal to be passive.
- He is outmatched. He refuses to let that define him
- He is the only one who correctly understands the strength his faith gives him.
- Be forgiving of those who fail.