Divergence – discovering and following too many rabbit trails
In the first 5 parts of this 6 part blog series, I’ve shared with you 4 leadership mistakes I’ve made (Distraction, Drivenness, Defensiveness, Drift and Divisions) and what I’ve learned with the hopes that you may be safe-guarded from the same issues in your life and ministry. In the 6th and final post of the series I’ll discuss the mistake of divergence.
You can’t chase two rabbits at the same time. Rabbits will run around purposely just to distract you. A survival skill. If you go for one rabbit, the probability is greater. Focusing on one task, the chances are you will finish it quicker and get better results.
“If you chase two rabbits, you will lose them both.” ~ Native American saying.
At times, I can have so many “great” ideas and wonderful ambitions I can lose my sense of focus. The worst yet is that my well-meaning colleagues and friends are often my cheerleaders helping to push me onward.
Some years ago, I was planning a national event for leaders. Wanting to fulfill the expectations of all the leaders, I found myself juggling a long list of event goals that I was trying to accomplish. What started as a clearly focused event had become one filled with multiple and divergent agendas. In the end, few goals were actually accomplished well.
Now I’m learning to work with convergence and not divergence.
Let me explain. Convergence is watching for many factors to all lead toward a common purpose or goal. Maybe an illustration will help.
When many mountain creeks and small streams flow together to form a large, powerful, unstoppable river the result is a good illustration of what I call convergence. This type of convergence is what I look for when making the major decisions in my life.
In decision-making, I’m looking for all of the input into that decision to flow together into one clear direction. If there appears to be misalignment or too many loose ends that are just out there then I make it a point to park, pause and ponder what’s going on.
Stop what I’m doing immediately and take in a full 360-degree view of the situation
In prayer, wait on God to help me bring things back into focus and alignment
Is what I’m doing really of consequence to the flow of what God wants to accomplish or am I simply diverging into other good activities, but not the best activities toward His ultimate goal.
I’m always looking for multiple evidences of God at work in bringing things together in a form of convergence.
So I’m always asking myself, “Are things diverging or converging?” If they are diverging than stop and wait for them to come back into focus. Or maybe even re-direct completely.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this blog and the rest in this series of six. I welcome your feedback.
Remember, fear of failure in our culture is real. However, I sense that learning from my failures has helped me to become a better leader. Together, let’s reflect and give ourselves permission to make mistakes as we fail forward together.
If you find the resources I’ve shared helpful, I would encourage you to sign-up for our monthly church leaders e-brief here.
Miss Part 1-5 in the 6 Leadership Mistakes I’ve Made in Ministry Series? Find them here:
Part 1: Distraction
Part 2: Drivenness
Part 3: Defensiveness
Part 4: Drift
Part 5: Division