The longer I live the more I see that our lives are filled with failures. Tony Dungy says it this way, “ I am often introduced today as one of only three people to win a Super Bowl as a  player and as a head coach. What they don’t say is that there were twenty-seven straight seasons that ended in disappointment between those two Super Bowl wins”1 He goes on to say “Success is really a journey of persistence and perseverance in spite of failure”2

John Maxwell in his book Failing Forward makes the observation that it is not the idea of if we will fail, it is more the question when will we fail? Everyone will fail. The key is how we move on from our failure.

Tony Dungy also says, “To truly accomplish your goals, I think failure has to be viewed as part of the process. Thomas Edison said that he didn’t fail repeatedly, he merely found ten thousand ways not to make a light bulb.”3

We all are faced with failure, or the fear of it, especially if we are in a place of leadership. Leading will involve risk. Do our past failures lead us to say, “I never want to try that again,” and do use that mindset to discourage others? Or do we use our past failures as learning experiences in moving forward?

I recently talked to a man who was still living “on the edge” in his early 70’s. He is always trying new things, constantly pushing for new ways of doing things. Someone asked him one day, “Why do you care? Why are you taking another risk? When are you going to retire?” His response was, “If I am still breathing and have my mind to think clearly, then I better be pushing and moving forward, because that is how God created me. He did not create me to just sit but to move.” That was so challenging to me, because at the time I was faced with what I thought was another big step in faith, and I was really counting the risks of failure. I am not saying don’t count the risk (cost), because God will use that factor many times in direction setting; but that should not be the only gauge.

As leaders we must be willing to move into new areas and to challenge and encourage those around us to do the same. Let’s not allow past failures to determine our future.

Check out some of our other posts!

Seasons Change

I think there is wisdom in this process that applies to all of us, gardeners or not. As we enter into new seasons of life, work, ministry, family, or church, do we know how to transition into the new season? What fruits of the previous season does God want us to preserve that will bring us nourishment in the next season?

All things to all men

As leaders, we need to look for men and women who love us and want what is best for us and are willing to tell us of areas to watch out for. And as leaders we need to trust those who are on our team. We must train and release them. When we do that well, our ministries and staff will grow and we as leaders will be healthy.

What do I do with the fear of failure?

We all are faced with failure, or the fear of it, especially if we are in a place of leadership. Leading will involve risk. Do our past failures lead us to say, “I never want to try that again,” and do use that mindset to discourage others? Or do we use our past failures as learning experiences in moving forward?

Is my Team Just Like Me?

As good leaders we must seek to effectively work with all four personality types and recruit them for our team. This will help our ministry or business grow, and it will accomplish more than possible without these differences. It will also help us to grow as individuals.

Leadership for a New Course

I find it amazing how God becomes so relevant in the middle of my normal Bible reading schedule. This morning I was reading from Luke 22:24-30


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