Motivation motivations

My personal mission is to create programs and messages which stimulate people to take thoughtful and appropriate risks. Ive written about this recently, but have seldom thought about why that is so important to me.

Im sure my dad gets some of the credit. Or the blame, depending on your point of view. He certainly modeled risk taking. When I was five, he left his successful outdoor advertising business in south Florida to go move to Tennessee and go to Tennessee Temple University and major in English and Bible. He had no job lined up, no place to live, just a very sure sense that this was part of God’s design for his life.

And all of his life, he did things most of his peers lacked the courage to do: starting churches, schools and a radio station, writing books. But many of his risks were much more personal. He risked loving people who weren’t all that lovely, or who were disloyal and faithless. And, as I pointed out at his funeral last fall, he did this because he believed the gospel had the power to transform people. It had certainly transformed him, the son of an itinerant alcoholic fisherman and tradesman.

This was risky business, all this starting things and loving people, and I’m sure it is accounts for much of who I am and what I am willing to try. But I have also found that risk is integral to the exercise of my own gifts and to the growth of my own character.

Leadership is one of those gifts. I like to help people discover a vision and empower them to achieve it. But I’ve found that their success, and mine, depends on their capacity for both personal and organizational risk taking.

And I have learned more from my failures than from my successes. When things don’t work, I think about the corners I’ve cut or the people I’ve hurt or overlooked and I see the things I have to change about myself. It’s a great education, this school of risk taking. And often profoundly humbling.

So I was taught to take risks, and I’ve found it necessary for my success and growth. It is God’s design for my own life, the motivation for my motivation.

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