Seth Godin wrote something recently that I think is totally true.
Successful people fail often, and, worth noting, learn more from that failure than everyone else.
I have the opportunity to work with a ton of really healthy churches… and Â I can tell you that this is a value in each and everyone one of them.
Every one of them fails.
And every one of them learns from their failures so that they can do better next time.
If you look at failure as a negative in your ministry, you probably won’t fail much.
And if you don’t fail much, you probably won’t get much right either.
This ‘reaching people’ stuff is important stuff. We need to be willing to stick our necks out there, risk a little, and see what works. If we don’t, we’re destined to only more of the same.
Seth Godin writes: Everyone is famous to 1,500 people.
Some people are even famous to 3,000.
And that’s a fascinating new phenomenon. When there are 3,000 or 10,000 or 500,000 people who think you’re famous…it changes things.
The race to be slightly famous is on, and it’s being fueled by the social and tribal connections permitted by the net. We give a lot of credit and faith to the famous, but now there are a lot more of them. Over time, once everyone is famous, that will fade, but right now, the trust and benefit of the doubt we accord the famous is quite valuable.
As a pastor and church staff member… you’re famous. It might be to 50 people or 10,000.
It really doesn’t matter.
Those people know you. And because of your position, most of them trust you.
That’s a heavy thing when you think about it.
Think about it.
How do you feel about famous people? You need to know, because you are one of them!
How does this thinking change the way you go about your day?
1. Are we on the same team?
2. What’s the right path forward?
These are questions that Seth Godin posed in a post this morning.
His point is that many times we ask the second question about the path; while the most important question is the first one: Are we on the same team?
Here is the right track to look at when asking the team question:
Is this a matter of respect? Power? Do you come out ahead if I fail? Has someone undercut you? Do we both wat the same thing to happen here?
Answer those questions FIRST; then, if all goes well… ask the path question.
According to Seth:
If you feel disrespected, the person you disagree with is not going to be a useful partner in figuring out what the right path going forward might be. If one party (employee/customer/investor) only wins when the other party loses, what’s the point of talking about anything but that? Deal with the agenda items and the dignity problems first before you try to work out the right strategic choices.
I think that’s great advice.
Some of Seth Godin’s posts are the shortest.
This one had me thinking this morning.
Here’s the concept: We all say that we’re ok to fail. It’s ok if we try something new and it doesn’t work out ok… we’ll just try something else.
But very few of us are willing to risk anything in the process, other than a little bit of time or money.
Here’s a quote Seth shares from David Chang:
“We’re hoping to succeed; we’re okay with failure. We just don’t want to land in between.”
He’s serious. Lots of people say this, but few are willing to put themselves at risk, which destroys the likelihood of success and dramatically increases the chance of in between.
I don’t want to be ‘in between’.
Kind of reminds me of New Testament “luke-warm”.
And we know what happens if we’re luke-warm.
This quote from Seth Godin has me thinking today:
If you think you have no choice but to do what you do now, you’ve already made a serious error.
As you go about your day, leading in the most important organization known to man, the church, don’t make a serious error of thinking that you have to do everything they way you did it yesterday or last week.
In fact… if you do… you may be making a SERIOUS error.
“If your plan will only succeed if there is no turbulence at any time, it’s probably not a very good plan (either that or you’re not going anywhere interesting.)”
I learned this lesson again yesterday. It really made me think about where I was going. I sure DO want it to be interesting.
How about you. Where are you planning on going in 2012?
Do you expect turbulence?
And how will you react when the journey gets a little bumpy?
“A decision without tradeoffs isn’t a decision. The art of good decision making is looking forward to and celebrating the tradeoffs, not pretending they don’t exist.
Uh… chew on that for a little bit today.
When it’s you against the boss, the goal is to do less work.
When it’s you against the project, the goal is to do more work.
Which is it for you today?
Seth Godin writes:
More and more, we’re finding it easy to get engaged with activities that feel like work, but aren’t. I can appear just as engaged (and probably enjoy some of the same endorphins) when I beat someone in Words With Friends as I do when I’m writing the chapter for a new book. The challenge is that the pleasure from winning a game fades fast, but writing a book contributes to readers (and to me) for years to come.
One reason for this confusion is that we’re often using precisely the same device to do our work as we are to distract ourselves from our work. The distractions come along with the productivity. The boss (and even our honest selves) would probably freak out if we took hours of ping pong breaks while at the office, but spending the same amount of time engaged with others online is easier to rationalize. Hence this proposal:
The two-device solution
Simple but bold: Only use your computer for work. Real work. The work of making something.
Have a second device, perhaps an iPad, and use it for games, web commenting, online shopping, networking… anything that doesn’t directly create valued output (no need to have an argument here about which is which, which is work and which is not… draw a line, any line, and separate the two of them. If you don’t like the results from that line, draw a new line).
Now, when you pick up the iPad, you can say to yourself, “break time.” And if you find yourself taking a lot of that break time, you’ve just learned something important.
Read more atÂ Seth’s Blog: Are you making something?.
What do you think? Â Do you think it’s problematic that the same device you write your sermons on or prepare your song charts on is the same device on which you play angry birds or use twitter?
One way to approach your work: “I come in on time, even a little early. I do what the boss asks, a bit faster than she expects. I stay on time and on budget, and I’m hardworking and loyal.”
The other way: “What aren’t they asking me to do that I can do, learn from, make an impact, and possibly fail (yet survive)? What’s not on my agenda that I can fight to put there? Who can I frighten, what can I learn, how can I go faster, what sort of legacy am I creating?”
via Seth’s Blog
Two different attitudes? Which do you have yourself? Which do you ask of your employees? Do they match?
I work with a lot of top notch church leaders. I know none that operate under the first framework?
In fact, I don’t know of any churches that are tearing it up that have staff that work under the first framework either?
Are you workin’ hard, or hardly workin’?
Do you love your job or loathe it?
TWO WEEKS FREE: This week's top 50 stories for pastors & church leaders... Subscribe today and get your first two weeks FREE!
Switch to our mobile site