I read an article by Carey Nieuwhof this past week and a statement he made has been at the forefront of my thinking this week. He wrote, “Trying isn’t the same as doing.” This is a powerful statement for effective leadership. At times we can become consumed with the process, but the question is what are we accomplishing?
Carey gives the example of asking someone if they have completed a task and they respond, “Well, I emailed him, but he never got back to me. I’ve called five times. I think they must have changed their address or something.” They feel like the project is done because they tried – but trying isn’t the same as doing.
When we focus on the process rather than the outcome then we don’t achieve the results we desire. We need to focus on the outcome. What do we want to accomplish? Process alone in not sufficient – we need results! Here’s a question for you. Two frogs were sitting on a log and one decided to jump off – how many are left on the log? Two, he only decided to jump off but he didn’t do it yet.
Jesus told His disciples in the upper room
If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them. (John 13:17)
Notice where the blessing comes – it’s from doing the work. You may know the importance of servanthood and you may extol the virtues of being a servant; but if you’re not acting like a servant then you’re missing the blessing.
Anyone who’s ever taken a shower has had an idea. It’s the person who gets out of the shower and does something about it who makes a difference. You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do. Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan co-authored an excellent book entitled Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done. They point out that this is a significant problem, “Execution is the great unaddressed issue in the business world today. Its absence is the single biggest obstacle to success and the cause of most of the disappointments that are mistakenly attributed to other causes.”
As Yoda reminds us, “Do or do not, there is no try.”
Associate Pastor – Discipleship. The Church at LifePark
Professor of Discipleship, Columbia International University
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