So this morning I was supposed to fly out at 10:54 for class. My flight was supposed to go through Atlanta. I don’t know if you heard, but Atlanta got 3″-6″ of snow…so my flight got cancelled. As soon as I found out my flight had been cancelled I called Airtran. After 20 minutes on hold I decided to go ahead and get ready for the day while my wife listened for a customer service rep…they kept saying it would be soon. After 35 minutes I decided it would be quicker to run up to the airport and see what they could do for me (I live 2 minutes away). So by the time I got to the ticket counter I had been on hold for 45 minutes…fun times. I told the Ticket counter lady about my flight being cancelled…she looked me up and said “Oh, they’ve already rebooked you on the direct flight.” What? I didn’t have to call and ask them to do that? They had already done that? They took the initiative and took care of my problem? Way to go Airtran!!
The proactive-ness of Airtran is exactly what a leader does! When we read the parable of the servants who were trusted with the talents – the first two servants didn’t need to be told to do something, they just did it! The third servant is the one who really messed up because he waited for someone to tell him he should try to be productive! Really? Does someone need to tell you to be productive?
Sometimes that’s the mistake that a lot of people make – they wait to be told what to do. Granted there are times when you should wait for instructions…if you’re disarming a bomb, make sure that you know if you’re supposed to cut the red wire or the green wire. If the decision you’re about to make will have long-term ramifications – make sure you know what you’re supposed to do first! But there are somethings you just don’t need to ask about you can make the decision on your own.
If you’re teaching a lesson and you have an epiphany that would help reinforce the lesson, but isn’t written in the curriculum – do you need to ask before you share? No! If it doesn’t detract from the lesson and isn’t heresy – then use it! You don’t need to ask! If a child cuts their arm – do you need to ask to get a band-aid? No! Just do it! If there’s a parent who is lost do you need to ask if you can help them? Nope! If you are doing something that adds to the vision for the ministry and is appropriate in the context you are serving in you probably don’t need to ask!
Too often individuals focus on what they can’t do. “We don’t have enough workers…” “We don’t have enough money…” “We don’t have….” W-H-A-T-E-V-E-R! What about the things you do have? What can you do with the resources you already have? Quit focusing on what you can’t do and find the things you can do! It’s like the warning on the side of a cup of coffee – “Contents may be hot!” Really? Did I need to tell you that?
Now go out and be proactive initiators of the things you can do!