As you recall from your Bible history, Goliath was an experienced soldier. He had all the latest equipment – shield, body armor, sword, and helmet. Not only was he a big, big guy, but he thought all his fancy equipment would protect him. David, on the other hand, had none of the fancy stuff. He had a strong faith in God, a lot of personal confidence, an exercised and toned body and the ability to move and act quickly.
In the history of the species, protective armor has almost always spelled disaster. Animals with a shell are slow, finding it difficult to forage for food and making themselves an easy target for fast-moving predators. Animals that take to the sea or sky, and that move swiftly and unpredictably are infinitely more powerful and safe from enemies. The British soldiers marched in perfect formation with their beautiful guns and armor – and were ambushed and overwhelmed by the guerrilla tactics of the sparsely equipped American revolutionaries.
So how does this relate to the workplace? I see people hide behind their long resumes, fancy credentials, work history and false sense of entitlement – and then are dismayed when someone comes along with a great smile, little work history but a lot of enthusiasm and grabs the best opportunities. The seductive and ultimately fatal path of developing traditional armor in today’s work environment may in fact be part of your demise. Be prepared to react swiftly, shift gears in midstream, and welcome radical change as your response to the unpredictable workplace.
And you know “the rest of the story.” David picked up five smooth stones, put one in his little slingshot and found the one vulnerable spot on Goliath’s head, taking down the big, cumbersome, well-equipped giant. I’ve seen it happen a thousand times out here in the business world. Identify your competitive advantage, your unique area of competence, and be ready to grasp the best and newest opportunities.