Block 8, Initiative - Bottom of the Ninth #121

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Bottom of the 9th - Initiative

Initiative - Block 8, John Wooden's Pyramid of Success by Keith Wahl

The next row of blocks in the Pyramid of Success continues with Initiative. Wooden says the following about Initiative:

If we allow the fear of failure to keep us from acting, we will never be successful or reach our full potential. Let's face it we're all imperfect and on occasion we're going to fall short, but we must learn from failure, and that will enable us to avoid repeating our mistakes. Through adversity, we learn, grow stronger, and become better people.

My college coach once said, "The team that makes the most mistakes will probably outscore the other one." What he meant is that doers make mistakes, but if we aren't doing anything, we're making the greatest mistake of all.

I agree with Wooden's college coach - sometimes mistakes can be the best teacher in the short and long terms. We encourage our players to be "Men of Action" on the base paths in hope that they will accelerate their learning process.

In reading the latest Freakonomics book,

Think Like a Freak

, I was exposed to Intellectual Ventures, a technology firm near Seattle. The company's main business is acquiring and licensing out high-tech patents. At the same time, they also open the door to new inventions and ideas. Through all of the work and in all of their projects, people at Intellectual Ventures are encouraged to embrace and acknowledge failure. The fact of the matter is, it saves the company money to do so.

Geoff Deane, the man who runs the laboratory at I.V., prefers a a statement like "failing well" or "failing smart" in his interview with the authors. In their line of work, the more time and money spent on an idea that won't pan out is a bigger issue than knowing the "right time to walk away." In their case, I.V. employees show Initiative by failing quickly as much as they do by succeeding.

People in ministry should be in the game of taking Initiative. Failure often occurs when we don't commit to action and the confirmed leading of the Holy Spirit. Think of the woman healed just by touching the garment of Christ:

Matthew 9:18-22 (ESV) - "While he was saying these things to them, behold, a ruler came in and knelt before him, saying, “My daughter has just died, but come and lay your hand on her, and she will live.†And Jesus rose and followed him, with his disciples. And behold, a woman who had suffered from a discharge of blood for twelve years came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment, for she said to herself, “If I only touch his garment, I will be made well.†Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, “Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well.â€

The woman saw that Jesus was leaving to attend to another matter, but knew she had to take Initiative in that moment, in faith, so she would be healed. With so many opportunities around us all of the time, we must take the same Initiative on a daily basis as the woman reaching for Christ's garment.

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