Posts Tagged ‘Failure’


I was walking through our plant the other day and noticed an employee really struggling with a machine he was trying to operate. This guy was working hard, sweating and really under some pressure but what I found strange was his boss was nowhere to be found? As I surveyed the area closely, my eye came across his supervisor far off in a corner…almost hidden. When I went to see what he was doing, he told me he had his eye on this guy from a distance and he wanted to see how this young man would handle this equipment problem on his own. I turned around and looked back at the employee again with his head underneath the machine trying desperately to get the thing to run right and then I looked back at the supervisor…Clearly he noticed the look on my face and he said, “this is the kind of problem that can produce perseverance in someone”. I said, “perseverance?” where did that come from?” He said, “I have been doing this a long time…In my younger days, I would run right over right and help the newbies every time they needed help…but I learned over time, this method really didn’t help them…What they needed was to persevere through the problem until they figured out the solution on their own, then they became the kind of operator I wanted working for me”. I said, “Very impressive…and I agree with you”. But of course, that got me thinking about his lesson to this young man. So I went to the dictionary and I found the word; perseverance:

Continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition.

Wow…I know the word and I use the word all the time but when I saw what it meant, I was kind of shocked. Perseverance was the word that was meant for our Iron Sharpens Iron blog audience…this is the foundation we are built upon because perseverance is exactly what God wants Christian men to have…a little fortitude…a little toughness and a whole lot of perseverance.

Even more important, God has something to say on this subject and I found the scripture to back this up for us:

Consider it pure joy my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

James 1:2-4

So now it makes perfect sense right? Do you remember that poor guy at the beginning of my post that was struggling mightily to get that piece of equipment to run? Well ultimately… he was successful and that success has made him a better employee…all because of the simple test his boss put him through…but I will point out one key point here…

HE DID NOT GIVE UP…He kept at it, even though it was hard…

And that is why God tells us that the testing of our faith produces perseverance. He already knew before you were made all of the various predicaments you were going to find yourself in that ultimately would be opportunities to show that you can “get up off of the mat” when you are knocked down. So don’t just lay there…get up!

If you are a Christian, you will be tested. If you are tested, then hang in there because you just read a few lines ago that this same testing and adversity will produce a character quality that is huge for you…perseverance…

Because when you finally achieve the ability to keep on, keeping on, in other words, perseverance. God will truly look down from heaven and smile on you…why?

Because He understands everything YOU went through to get there and He admires the person you became as a result…

Let me leave you with this verse:

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.

James 1:12

Until next time Guys…


A good friend of mine called me today hopping mad…well, maybe just frustrated but certainly not a happy guy. He was on his way to Los Angeles driving on a rainy Saturday morning to solve a problem that should never have been. You see, he is the man in charge of his project and he assigned someone to handle a job which in this case, was to cover up the roof of this unfinished building with plastic to thwart the coming rain. His employee performed the job similarly to how many people I have seen recently perform theirs…poorly…and as a result, the man in charge was forced to give up a Saturday of his life to solve the problem. Needless to say he was frustrated and he called me on his way up to the job site to vent. As the conversation progressed we started discussing leadership and how important it is to really anything that needs to be accomplished. From the football gridiron, to building anything, anytime there is a task that must be completed by a group it is the quality of the leadership that makes it happen. Now I’m the first to admit that leadership will only get you so far, you MUST have quality people in order to be successful. When you don’t have them, you end up doing what my friend is doing today…fixing someone else’s mistake and that affects everyone. Remember the old saying, ” you are only as strong as your weakest link”? I think we all know that statement to be true.

Recently I was watching my young son playing the game Madden NFL but he was doing it with a small twist. He turned off the games salary cap and was forcing trades thereby ending up with the very best players for his team. Now whenever he plays, he has an all-star team. He has Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady all on the same team? Can you imagine having the very best employees available all on your staff? For those of you who have worked in your industry for a long time, I’m sure you have worked with people you really enjoyed and there was a reason for that. Like me, if you were in charge, it’s because they knew their job and they cared about what they produced thereby causing you to admire their work ethic…or selfishly, because they made you look good…right?

Well the reality is we can’t have the very best people because they tend to get spread out amongst our competitors. Remember that part is all about the money. So what do you do to succeed with the group you have? You, You, You have to put forth quality leadership and get the most out of your people possible. Isn’t that what good coaching does? They put people in the right places in order for them to succeed thereby helping the company or team succeed. Don’t force that square peg into that round hole…you will regret that move…

But let’s get back to the beginning. My friend assigned a job to someone and that guy did that job poorly. This guy either has a good work ethic or he doesn’t. You can try to teach work ethic but I have found that to be difficult because many times it is how the person was raised that gives him his “approach to a problem” mentality. Unfortunately, in our world today, where we are struggling to stay in the black, companies just don’t have the time to spend on people who can’t simply step in and be productive. For me personally, I will give you one warning and then I must move on to the next person. That may sound harsh but my company’s success keeps many people employed and I will not allow a poor work ethic to spoil that success.

I will end with this. As a Christian, we are told in Colossians 3:17,

Let every detail in your lives-words, actions, whatever-be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.

Simply put, not just in our words, but in our ACTIONS, which is our work ethic, we must commit all our efforts (especially work) to Christ and we, you, will be successful…So keep your head down until the job is finished and done right…

Until next time guys…