1 Sam 9:2, 10:23 - There were two polar extremes in Saul, the flesh and the spirit battled for control in his life; Saul lost the inner battle but won the leadership prize through outer appearance and stature; he was tall and good looking, he possessed charisma of personality, but inside he was insecure and lacked identity of who he was as a man of God.
There are seven consequences of the Saul Syndrome:
Contagious lack of courage - Both courage and cowardice are like a virus; the people catch what the leader carries in his or her heart. Saul would not fight Goliath, but David did - 2 Sam 23 - David inspired the armies of Israel to fight, but Saul inspired them to inaction and fear. Where a leader with courage leads, people follow.
Fearing what the people think, leading to acts of religious piety to impress people. Without courage it doesn’t matter how good your intentions are. See 1 Samuel 15. Saul offered burnt offerings to the Lord, but it was an act of disobedience and cowardice - he tried to impress the people, not obedience to the Lord. The sacrifice the Lord requires is a sincere heart and a broken spirit.
Running from opportunity. Godly courage empowers you to do what you are afraid of doing in the natural - Saul hid among the baggage when it was time to time to come forward to be anointed king - 1 sam 10:22
Jealousy of others. But where there is courage, we break free of the slavery of insecurity and possessiveness. Saul was jealous of David because of lack of inner courage and confidence in who God had called him to be.
Indecisive. When leaders have courage the people will have commitment. There are some decisions leaders make without hearing God tell them to do it, it is simply the courageous thing to do. Those kind of decisions are the result of inner core values birthed in a person through testing and trial, and staying close to God.
Fear of letting go of the past to embrace change and a new future. A leader with courage will let go of the familiar to face a new future.
Disloyalty in relationships. The Saul Syndrome produces unreliable leaders.