DMINLGP

DMin, Leadership and Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World

If it Ain’t Broke Fix it Anyway

Written by: on September 9, 2020

Some things in life are counterintuitive! Simplify put, leaders often lean on their gut and rely on intuition to get things done. When I was a manager in the natural gas pipeline industry overseeing multimillion-dollar projects I was a decision making gun slinger. Give me 50% of the data needed along with the knowledge of the deadlines and time constraints I was ready to make the million-dollar decision based on experience and intuition. Surprisingly it served me well. Besides if it ain’t broke don’t fix it! Right? Wrong, as the years have passed, I would hope that I am wiser, a bit more reserved and much more reliant on others around me for advice. The understanding that I don’t have to have all the answers has taught me the value of seeking many counselors.

Steven D’Souza and Diana Renner in their books Not Knowing: The Art of Turning Uncertainty into Opportunity and Not Doing: The Art of Effortless Action we are brought face to face with the value of being counterintuitive. They explain that we often have to get to the point that we realize that “the old way of doing things is no longer possible.”[1] In order for this to happen we truly need to be aware of our limitations and the environment in which we lead. They also explain that knowledge though useful, can be the very thing that limits our ability to change and grow because we refuse to lay it aside when necessary.[2]

On my wrist is a silver bracelet given to me almost 15 years ago by my youngest daughter. I can count the number of times I have taken off in the past 15 years on one hand. On it is a simple inscription, “Proverbs 3:5-6.” It is a friendly reminder that I am not infallible and to always remember life doesn’t exist in a vacuum. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.”(NLT) In a world dominated by technology giving us real time news and unlimited information at our fingertips it hardly seems logical not to depend on our own understanding and seek God’s will while trusting that He will guide us along the way. Depending on God and not myself reminds me as a leader that life isn’t all about me. Yielding the need to know all the answers and paying attention to how I interact with others is very freeing as a leader. Exploring the many possibilities through the opinions and advise of others has not only made life less stressful it has created an inward desire that being second and satisfied is ok.

“It’s amazing how much you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” Harry S Truman

 

 

 

[1] Steven D’Souza and Diana Renner, Not Doing: The Art of Effortless Action, (New York, New York; 2018), 25

[2] Steven D’Souza and Diana Renner, Not Knowing: The Art of Turning Uncertainty into Opportunity, (New York, New York:2016), 33

About the Author

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Greg Reich

Entrepreneur, Visiting Adjunct Professor, Arm Chair Theologian, Leadership/Life Coach, married 39 years, father and grandfather. Jesus follower, part time preacher! Handy man, wood carver, carpenter and master of none. Outdoor enthusiast, fly fisherman, hunter and all around gun nut.

7 responses to “If it Ain’t Broke Fix it Anyway”

  1. mm Dylan Branson says:

    It’s easy to forget that in our various leadership roles that we have One we can lean on whose understanding is greater than ours will ever be. WE can try and forge our own paths and rely on our own knowledge, but where does it get us in the end? Sure, we may eventually reach the goal, but who do we hurt along the way? How do we hurt OURSELVES along the way when we try to rely on our own strength and understanding?

  2. mm Darcy Hansen says:

    Greg,
    “…being second and satisfied is ok.” Such a good word there. I think in many ways, the solid leaders of our nation have this posture. I think they feel like more influence and positive change can happen in a lower position than at the top ranks. I have watched my husband wrestle through the identity shifts that come from not being the “big dog” in the corporation. I can’t speak for all men, but I know it’s been difficult for him to find that satisfied place being second. Jesus modeled this for us though. He was never concerned with taking over the Roman Empire. He had other plans in store, plans that required him to be second and satisfied. Thank you for sharing your leadership journey with us. It’s such a gift to learn from you.

    • mm Greg Reich says:

      It’s easy to get caught up in the concept of hierarchy. In reality everyone is accountable to someone and doesn’t have the freedom to be a lone ranger. A CEO of a corporation answers to the board. the Board answers to the stock holders who vote by either buying or selling their stock. With title and power comes great responsibility. When successful the perks are great but when not successful the price is high. Charisma may help you climb the ladder to success but it is character that keeps you there. Sooner of later a lack of character exposes everyone.

  3. mm Greg Reich says:

    Dylan,

    The whole implication of leadership contradicts a solo endeavor. When others are not on the journey with us we are not leading. The goal of leadership is not so much a destination but the concept of bringing others along. We not only dwarf ourselves we also risk dwarfing others as well!

  4. mm John McLarty says:

    It’s a hard and humbling shift from the mindset of “I have the answers. I can fix the problem.” Our society still seeks leaders who boldly make these claims. (And just in case we’ve forgotten, we have another election cycle to remind us of this!) And yet, to trust in the Lord and rely less on our own knowledge is- paradoxically- the pathway to life.

  5. mm Shawn Cramer says:

    Greg, you’ll need to return that bracelet to wherever your daughter got it! It has the wrong verse on it! Haha, sorry to point out the miss there, but I couldn’t resist… Proverbs 3:5-6.

    How do you find the balance of seeking many counselors with the need to make an unpopular but needed decision?

    • mm Greg Reich says:

      Shawn,
      Good catch! Freudian slip! Corrected!
      I don’t see a conflict with seeking wise council and making the hard decisions. To me the purpose of seeking council isn’t to remove the responsibility to make the hard decisions, it is to help negotiate the challenges and to broaden our perspective. Sometimes unpopular decisions need to be made; wise council would hopefully smooth the process and help mitigate the results of the decision.

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