The first time I visited a Coal Mine I was blown away by two things: the tires on the large equipment which were literally bigger than my car and the amount of coal that was everywhere: With all of this coal, there must be diamonds deep below. I've hit the jackpot. Maybe I could just take a little coal with me and get to work on squeezing it until it becomes a diamond.
My friends told me I was stupid but I was determined. I found a vice in our family tool shed and began to squeeze. Before long my floor was covered with coal dust. No diamonds, just a really big mess! With black smudges all over my face. I was devastated. Someone told me that diamonds came from coal. Why isn’t this working?
I think part of me just wanted to believe that it would work because it was a beautiful thing to think something as cheap as coal could become a diamond. The way I figure it. At some point, someone was digging, found a piece of coal, and then found a diamond. (Which in itself is strange because most diamonds are formed 90 miles below the surface.) You can squeeze this all you want, but it’s just not happening.
How could my understanding be so wrong? Where did I get this bad information? It was on this day that I learned the power of Getting To The Bottom Of It
Today on the podcast, Part 1 of Insight
We can rarely ever accept the first thought for something in leadership. And yet we do it, ALOT. Which made me wonder why. Why would we accept the first reaction when what we do is so important?
Maybe it’s because we’re afraid.
What does fear have to do with it? Actually, fear has a lot to do with it.
Often times, fear can creep in because we don't have a better understanding or insight to offer so we take it at face value because we don’t want to look foolish. Case in point, how many times has someone said to you “They said it was horrible” or “a lot of people didn’t like that song.” When we hear things like this we have two choices: get scared and start changing things OR we can pause just long enough to say:
Really? Who’s they? Who said? Was it really A LOT of people?
Often times the next response will lead to great frustration because it’s really just one person. And here we were getting ready to change everything!
Another thing that creates fear when "getting to the bottom of it” is that sometimes we're afraid of what we might find. We’ve all been there. Thinking, if I ask too many questions, I may discover it’s actually worse than I think. This can cause us to just look the other way.
I can’t tell you how badly I wanted to look the other way as the campus pastor at Elevation when our second time visitor numbers started to dip. The campus felt good, we were growing but based on data from our kids ministry, people were starting to come back less frequently.
It can be a scary thing to dig into the data. What if we discover that our volunteers aren’t doing their part, what if I’m not communicating well from the stage, what if parking is a bigger problem than what I thought? You can see how we become afraid of the truth because it may reveal greater problems.
I’m not here to tell you that those fears are invalid. I’m here to say that great leaders will push through those fears to ‘get to the bottom of it’.
Today, I encourage you to push through any fears you may have and dig into some of the challenges you are facing. Gain some fresh insight and start changing things for the better.
Bottom Line: Fear provides horrible insight.
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Next Week on the podcast: Getting to The Bottom Of It: Part 2