Category Archives: Leadership

Go Fishing

Go Fishing 1424203_14684300

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime” -Anne Isabella Thackeray Ritchie

I heard that proverb many years ago. It was true then and continues to be true today. But, if I were to add on to it, I would change it to the following:

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. Teach a man to teach others to fish, make his life worth living.

There are four basic categories of human experience:

  1. Those who depend on others to live (the man who receives the fish)
  2. Those who provide for themselves (the man who fishes)
  3. Those who make an impact beyond themselves (the man who teaches others to fish)
  4. Those who make an impact FAR beyond themselves (the man who teaches others to teach others how to fish)

All of us are on a quest for significance in life.  We want to know that our time spent on earth wasn’t for nothing.  We want to know that we did something during this lifetime that outlasts the amount of time that we exist on the planet.

For this to be true, we must live our lives beyond ourselves.  Only the people in categories 3 or 4 above are living life in such a way that their impact will far outlast themselves.

This is how the Apostle Paul called Timothy to live.  In 2 Timothy 2:2, Paul says, “You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others.”

Paul was a category 4 person.  Paul challenged Timothy to be a category 4 type of person.

I personally believe that the closer we get to category 4 in our lives (and at the very least category 3), the more we will feel like our lives were significant while living on this planet.

What type of life are you living?

Moving Forward

Many times in the leading of an organization, we come to points where we realize that things need to change.

Maybe we lost what we originally had.  Maybe we went down a wrong path.  Or, maybe things changed over time and there was a need to get back on track.

Regardless of the reasons surrounding the need for change, we know that change must happen.

The difficult thing about change is that people will be affected.  People will get hurt.  People will not like everything that happens.

And that’s okay!

In the Bible, there’s a story found in the book of 2 Kings, chapter 23.  King Josiah realized that the nation of Israel had strayed far from God and came to the understanding that some huge changes needed to be made.

Here are some select verses from that chapter:

Then the king instructed Hilkiah the high priest and the priests of the second rank and the Temple gatekeepers to remove from the Lord ’s Temple all the articles that were used to worship Baal, Asherah, and all the powers of the heavens. The king had all these things burned outside Jerusalem on the terraces of the Kidron Valley, and he carried the ashes away to Bethel. He did away with the idolatrous priests, who had been appointed by the previous kings of Judah, for they had offered sacrifices at the pagan shrines throughout Judah and even in the vicinity of Jerusalem. They had also offered sacrifices to Baal, and to the sun, the moon, the constellations, and to all the powers of the heavens. He also tore down the living quarters of the male and female shrine prostitutes that were inside the Temple of the Lord , where the women wove coverings for the Asherah pole.

A whole bunch of woodworkers, prostitutes, and priests were put out of business.  Now, I’m sure many of you would agree that some of that was a good thing!

The reality remains.  When change happens, there are difficult decisions to be made that will lead to dissatisfaction among certain people.

That is simply the reality of the situation.   We must change, or we will die.

But, even in the midst of change, there is at least one more thing we must take into consideration.  In that same chapter, but in verse nine, the author states this:

The priests who had served at the pagan shrines were not allowed to serve at the Lord ’s altar in Jerusalem, but they were allowed to eat unleavened bread with the other priests.

Compassion.  Help.  Care.  Love.

Josiah was fully within his rights to kick out all the priests (who worshipped other gods), but he brought them to Jerusalem and made sure that their most basic needs were taken care of.  After all, priests could not work other jobs, so they had no other way to make money legitimately.

Must change continue in our organizations?  Yes!  Will change be difficult?  Absolutely!  Should we show compassion and care for those who are affected by change?  Totally!

Have you navigated change in the past?  What other lessons have you learned in the process?