Sunday, February 12, 2012

Stepping Up

I truly value the individual who will step up and say, "I'll do it."  They are somewhat rare.  Most people tend to hang back in hope that someone else will step forward and they won't have to volunteer -- or be volunteered.  This is especially true with the difficult tasks.

The characteristic of being willing to take on the difficult is often associated with youth.  It is an indicator of the desire to "prove" oneself.  It is a sign of wanting to make a name.  Because such an individual is often less experienced, careful judgment should be made of the suitability of the individual for a particular task.  Not only are they taking risk, but by accepting them as a volunteer you assume risk as well.

As individuals mature, one of two things happens regarding their willingness to "step forward" for risky challenges.  They either hang back in fear of failure based on past experience, or they move forward with confidence based on positive experience.  Rare is the individual who will continue to "step up" after repeated failure.  It's like the old joke about "it hurts when I do that."  The obvious response to which is "don't do that!"  Getting back up again after failure can be difficult.

Some have an uncanny ability to get things done.  It doesn't matter what the task, they can be trusted to accomplish what they set out to do.  It often is not pretty, but the results are those desired.  Such people are often hated and distrusted within an organization -- especially if their methods tend to be rough and with little regard for casualties.

How does one couple the ability to accomplish with a compassion that knits together a cohesive organization?  Is there a special kind of individual who can both accomplish the desired task and not make significant enemies along the way?  I don't think there is, but I do think there are individuals who are masters at getting things done with minimum casualties.

I have often said that one measure of success is the caliber of enemies one makes along the way.  If the "bad players" in the marketplace or in the organization hate me, I have confidence that I am doing my job.  If they like me I have failed.

I think the key is motivation; what motivates the individual to accomplish -- to get the job done -- to step up when no one else wants to do so.  But, motivation alone is not enough.  There must also be a measure of compassion.  The means do affect the results and definitely determine the casualties along the way. 

There is one source of inspiration and strength that is unfailing; the word of God.  One of my favorite verses says it all:

"I can do all things through God who gives me strength."  Phillipians 4:13

No comments: