Thursday, June 27, 2013

Semper Gumby

Let’s face it. Every single one of us thinks that we know the best way to do… everything! As we move into positions of leadership and responsibility we are going to find ourselves making more and more plans. The only problem is that the more responsibility we have the more the completion of our plans depends on other people! We have to learn to hold our plans loosely and bend when necessary.

Work with what you have not with what you don’t have. Now that you are the person in the captain’s chair you get to “boldly go where no one has gone before”, right? Only if your crew is prepared and willing to go with you. Accomplishing your plan requires the support and gifting of others. If they aren't ready, then it’s time for you to adjust, not whip them into shape. The people under your care are a much more valuable resource than you can ever know. Work toward helping them be ready to” boldly go” and eventually you will.

Be humble enough to accept someone else’s suggestion. You've thought it through, prayed about it and decided on what you believe is the best way to accomplish the task. You have made the plan and then…someone else makes a suggestion on how to do it differently. Deep down inside you know that their way is better, but you are finding it hard to actually say the words.  What’s most important? Doing things your way or accomplishing the task? Come on! Swallow your pride! You can do it!

Semper Gumby. Old folks like me remember Gumby from our childhood. I actually had a Gumby doll. Gumby was very flexible. You could bend him into all kinds of positions and he didn't break. I don’t know where the phrase originated, but the first time I heard someone say “Semper Gumby” I knew exactly what it meant:  Always be willing to bend. You can call it Murphy’s Law if you want, but things will usually not turn out exactly as planned. If you and I can accept that truth as we begin to put our plans into place we will be much more ready to bend when necessary. “Blessed are the flexible for they will not be bent out of shape!”

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