Things I Learned: 2010 in Review (2)

There are advantages and disadvantages to getting older.  But these days I think the advantages more than win the day.  Things become clearer.  Insight sharpens.  And as friendships deepen and networks expand, you learn so much.  I love that.

This is the second part of a series sharing some random truths that I learned or that resonated deeply in 2010.

  • Leaders who thrive in the long run experience life in all of its disappointment but choose to re-engage their hearts, minds and spirits anyway. I used to think leaders thrived over the long haul because they didn’t have the same struggles or temptations other people do. I no longer believe that…believe they thrive because they are committed to rebuilding trust, relationship and hope again and again – as often as necessary, especially when it hurts.  It’s also a profound way to strengthen your trust in God.
  • There is no greatness without suffering. My friend Robert Singh shared this observation with me a while ago.  I’ve tried to think of an exception again and again.  I can’t think of a single hero I admire biblically or in life who didn’t overcome adversity and suffering before being considered ‘great.’  Can you?  Christ is the supreme example.  So if you’ve ever asked God to use you to do great things….
  • Our disappointment with who we’re not can sabotage our potential to be who we are. I love being online and networked in ways we couldn’t dream of 15 years ago, but the shadow side is we’ve created a celebrity culture among ministry leaders.  We can and do listen to our ‘heros”.  And we can end up being bummed that God didn’t make us more like them.  That’s a mistake.  God will only hold me accountable for not being the person he created me to be.  He will never hold me accountable for not being more like someone I admire.  And this afflicts more than pastors.  If church attenders are negatively comparing their preacher and leaders to others they follow to and admire, we’ll never realize who we can be because we’re focused on who we’re not.

These insights are helping me live and lead differently.  In what ways, if any, do these learnings help you?

What would you add to this?  What have you learned?


  1. Chris Oldcorn on December 30, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    I can totally relate to the suffering point. The last few weeks have been some of the toughist in my professional life. Now, starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel & it is better then I ever thought possible just a few weeks ago.

    • Carey on December 30, 2010 at 4:39 pm

      Sorry to hear that Chris. It’s natural to want greatness without suffering, it just never ever seems to play out that way.

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