In this week’s Maximizers, we took a slightly different approach to how we normally use our time. For thepast few weeks, we’ve engaged in topical discussions aimed at maximizing ourselves for greater impact in our respective environments. This time, we chewed on this question: What can be accomplished when a group of business leaders pool their skills, resources, and contacts to get on-mission in their community?
By the numbers:
- 37 minutes
- 10 business guys
- 1 hypothetical problem
The hypothetical problem we targeted is the high-school drop out rates in our local area. With test scores either flat or dropping in some schools, as well as the decline in graduation class sizes, this poses a great threat to the future of these individuals and our community.
Within 37 minutes, we were able to brainstorm a few key areas such as:
- Contacts/Resources – who do we know and how can we leverage their influence?
- Opportunities – What information do we need to get started, and how can we get it?
- Weaknesses – Areas of exposure – what are the unknown factors?
- Threats – What could lessen or block our ability/credibility to take a serious shot at developing partnerships and influence?
- Next steps – Which tasks can we each tackle based on our existing areas of strength and influence?
At the end of our working time frame we had come with starting points, including a list of key contacts and tasks to complete over the course of the next week. Given 10 more minutes and 10 more people, our resources are likely to double and then some. Keep in mind, this is purely hypothetical.
While I can’t speak for the entire group, I got the sense that we were having a why don’t we really do something like this moment. This particular problem is not hypothetical – in fact, it’s not even unique to our community. If you really look at what were able to come up with in rapid fire sessions, we probably could take a serious crack at developing some sort of direction and plan, or partner with and add a little fuel to an existing program.
Pastor Bill Hybels (Willow Creek Church, Chicago) wrote about having a holy discontent; it’s the one thing that just isn’t right in your soul, stirs you constantly and tugs you toward action. At some point, you have what Hybels calls your “Popeye moment” – it tugs long enough and you end up at a point where you can no longer spectate. You have to find a place to plug in and make an impact.
We discovered a lot of threats to jumping in: credibility, financial resources, political hotbeds, parental resistance, red tape, ego, existing efforts, and even determining benchmarks for success. But here’s the thing – we’re called to action as men of faith who have been given time, talent, and resource. It’s the Acts 2 vision, the Hands and Feet of Christ in action, the realization that other people matter too.
So, I’m not sure where we’re headed next, but I have a feeling that we’re headed in a direction where simply consuming these concepts will not be enough. Stay tuned…
Have you discovered your holy discontent – that one thing that fuels your fire? What challenges would you face in working to make an impact?