Last week, I showed a video from the 2006 Willow Creek Leadership Summit for our Truth At Work groups. The session was Andy Stanley's talk on The Best Leadership Decision I Have Ever Made.
During the session, Stanley talked about when he was getting his church up and running and the incredible effort it took. He talked about the long hours he and his team was investing. He said he had the attitude, "If I don't, it won't." In other words, it was all up to him. He felt that if he leaned toward home, nothing would get done at work.
Sound familiar? It does for me.
Then he received a revelation from God.
God revealed to him that Andy was instructed to love his wife (Ephesians 5), not his church. He also received insight in Matthew 16 when Jesus says, "On this rock I will build my church..." Andy said, "OK, so Jesus is promising to build the church, not Andy."
Andy said it was out of those revelations that his greatest leadership decision materialized. He decided to cheat the church (or work) and not his home. He made a deal with God which went something like this: OK God. You command me to love my wife and you say that you are going to build the church, so here's my deal. You have me for 45 hours per week to get this church thing done. If you can't build the church with 45 of my hours, well, I guess it wasn't meant to be. He decided to cheat the church rather than his family.
After making this decision, what he found out was that this forced him to operate in his sweet spot, doing what he does best. He also found out that his organization began to thrive because he was only doing what only he could do.
Andy shared one more thing which I think is relevant to all of us who are leaders. Those who love their businesses and not their families, have neither great business nor great families. Wow.
I must admit, I am now doing quite a bit of soul searching and taking a very close look at how I'm spending my time.