Here are four of nine ways to guarantee failure… In some cases one item can guarantee but often, it’s a normally a ‘concoction’ of a couple of them…
- Do nothing! No matter how good your plans or vision or goals are, nothing will guarantee them not being realized than inactivity. This can be brought by just being lazy or procrastination. Rule number one to failing – don’t do anything! Perfectionists are often the greatest causalities in this area. Waiting for something to be ‘perfect’ before they can make forward movement or waiting for the perfect conditions to act. The truth is there will always be some condition that can be better. Embrace that perfection is a process and journey embarked on, not a destination.
- Procrastination is not only a thief of time, but a thief of success and progress. Always pushing things to be done in the future can can rob you of possible opportunities. Some moments may not come again or you may not be able to get the same impact or results another time.
- Always cower in the face of risk. I’m not advocating for reckless risk taking but playing it safe will definitely not guarantee success! If you’re going to be successful you will need to take risks at some point! An element of risk makes up the formula of success.
- Listen to everybody. The fact that ‘everyone’ can share an opinion with you doesn’t mean you have to follow it. What is relevant to you and what will add to you advancing. I like what Bill Cosby said; “I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody”
BONUS: Check out the rest of the 9 ways to guarantee failure in this follow up post: 5 of 9 Ways to Guarantee Failure
I thought I’d share one of the letters I wrote to some of the young leaders I serve with…
Am sure you know that Joshua succeeded Moses… Imagine succeeding Moses! A leader who (boldly) faced one of the most feared and powerful leaders of a particular time in history. A leader who led 3 million whining, complaining and ungrateful people. Imagine following after someone who walked with such humility that God himself would commend his humility as never ever attained, let alone surpassed! Imagine following after a leader who had immense respect for that the thought of even walking in their shoes would seem somewhat “sacrilegious”. (Not that I’m completely aware of Joshua’s sentiments, as just merely trying to picture what his disposition was). Am sure you will emphatically agree, it would be indeed an extremely tough act to follow!
When I think of all the things I’ve just highlighted, it doesn’t surprise me that one of the things God ensured established early, as a key ingredient, in his leadership was courage. The very nature of leadership demands it. It takes courage to lead others (and sometimes including yourself) to uncharted or unfamiliar territory. It takes courage to be in a place where your vision and your plans are in the open for all to see and challenge. It takes courage to live in the space of such vulnerability. It takes courage to live and accept responsibility for lives either than your own. It takes courage for you to be in a place where you hear from God for the sake of other lives besides your own. Especially challenging at those times when you struggle to hear God for yourself! Courage, courage, courage! My encouragement to you for today is:
- Don’t be afraid to lead.
- Don’t be afraid to do and or say what God is saying to you. You stand to lose more as an individual and a team when you go with your fear than what God requires of you.
- Not every leader got everything right all the first time or all the time. You will make mistakes. Let this fact be liberating and not inhibiting. The worst mistake you could do is not respond when you should.
- Seek the wisdom of those that have gone before. You don’t need to know every thing.
- And, also very important… Draw your confidence as you lead from God by cultivating your relationship with Him.
Strength! Courage! You are going to lead this people to inherit the land that I promised to give their ancestors – Joshua 1:5 (The Message)
What would you do if you were absolutely confident God was with you? – Pete Wilson
Just a quick note… Thanks for either getting in touch or writing… my bad, am still away until next week (technically the end of May (2011)… I’ve been on a break. My apologies. I realize I only informed some and left others out of the loop. (Will be back with some content am currently working on etc)
Our true motives for doing thing often surface when it is time for credits… How much they mean to us is often a window into the “why” we do things. I think John the Baptist was clear on why he did what he did and never lost sight of it.
7-8As he preached he said, “The real action comes next: The star in this drama, to whom I’m a mere stagehand, will change your life. I’m baptizing you here in the river, turning your old life in for a kingdom life. His baptism—a holy baptism by the Holy Spirit—will change you from the inside out.” (Mark 1:7, The Message)
It is important for us to realize that in serving God, the significance we seek is Him glorified and revealed to the world, not our name in lights. Our is that of merely setting the stage and “creating a platform” for God to “appear” and change lives.
We cannot change people’s lives and God does not require us to! All He needs us is to be is the platform creators for His working in people’s lives by testifying of who He is and that He longs to have life-changing and intimate relationships with people.
When attention is (sometimes repeatedly) drawn to us we should always hastily turn all attention to God, the one who does the transforming and life giving work in people’s lives.
We all want our contribution or work recognized and acknowledged, but if it comes instead of or at the expense of Christ being recognized and being revealed to people, could it be we’ve joined the enemy’s camp?! I say this because the enemy’s goal is to not only keep people from Christ but draw attention away from Him. Like John the Baptist remember that you are not the reason but Christ is! As we serve Christ remember we serve Him not ourselves!