My Way or the…No Just My Way

January 12, 2012 by cloften  
Filed under Family and Parenting

When it comes to sports, I have the reputation of being a hater.  Apart from the Razorbacks, the St. Louis Cardinals and Phil Mickelson, I don’t root for anyone.  I spend most of my time rooting against people and teams.  If my daughter Lauren comes in and sees me watching sports, if she doesn’t see one of the three entities mentioned above, she will ask, “Which one of these teams do we not like?”

All that to say, as I use the Cowboys as an illustration, I’m not hating on them.  I’m not a Cowboy hater, mostly because you can’t hate something that’s not any good (That sounded like hating, but it wasn’t).

This interview with Dallas Cowboys owner, Jerry Jones caught my attention recently:

“The facts are that I’ve spent 22 years doing this exactly the same way,” Jones said Tuesday on KRLD-FM. “I’ve made a lot of changes from year to year as time goes along, but frankly, I know that when we do not have the kind of success, when we don’t have expectations lived up to, the one that should get the most heat is the one that ultimately makes the decisions, period, with the Dallas Cowboys. And that’s me.”

The owner of the Dallas Cowboys doesn’t want to hire a general manager to run his team.  Why?  Apparently because we’ve always done it this way.  He can see no reason to change.  However, the fact that the team has only won one playoff game in the last 15 years might seem like a good reason, but not to him.

Why?  Apparently, he likes being in charge.  It would seem that being the one in control is more important than success.  I get that, I suppose.  If I were to buy a video game, I would want to play it, and if I wasn’t any good, I wouldn’t hire someone to play for me and register a high score in my name.  I would want to do it. (Way to go, Cloften.  A sports analogy and video game analogy in the same post.  People are loving this)

However, wouldn’t he rather his team has success than have control?  His fans would, but that doesn’t matter.  At least not to him.  Before this post continues, let’s take a moment and judge him.  (Pause)  Well done.

How many areas of our life would we choose control over success?  I see this in churches.  A church would rather do it “their way” than be successful.  (Let’s put aside what your definition of success is.  Regardless of your definition of what makes a church successful, is it being successful based on your definition?)  Rather than even asking the question are we being successful, we determine that we are being successful because we are doing it the right (read my) way.  That’s very similar to what Jerry Jones is doing.  What makes us successful? Me being in charge.  That’s the top priority.  Results are secondary.

This is what bad leaders, church or otherwise, do.  It is better to fail than ask for help.  It is better to fail than read a book.  It is better to fail than to admit to someone that you are failing.

This happens in churches, marriages, parenting, everywhere.  We ignore results and change nothing.  It doesn’t matter if we are winning, because we have “spent 22 years doing this exactly the same way.”

If it’s not working, be humble enough to say something and then do something about it.  God is there for you, wise counsel is there for you, friends, books, even Yahoo answers might could help (Don’t go to Yahoo answers).

Choose success over control.