24. The Lord forbid that I should do such a thing to my Master, the Lord’s anointed (1 Samuel 24:6).
David’s right actions toward Saul stand in stark contrast to the latter’s treatment of him. David’s men seem excited at the possibility of destroying their enemy the king, but David refuses to see victory in such a step. Treating the predecessor right is far more critical than using his failures as a platform for leadership. David’s guilt for cutting off a corner of Saul’s robe illustrates how after reflection, he chooses to commit to a more restrictive path for his own behavior. He will honor Saul, even if Saul won’t return the favor.
I don’t imagine you have a true enemy king chasing after you, but this story provides good advice for how one treats a predecessor. Even if the former leader treats you badly, give him what you wish he’d give to you. Ultimately, you’ll win and you’ll do so with the respect of those you lead.