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December 6, 2021

Why “All Gas No Brakes” is a Bad Idea (Part 2)

Several years ago, while having dinner with friends, we started a game where we created adventure and disaster scenarios and picked teams that would give us the best chance of survival.

Who do you want on a deserted island with you while you wait for rescue?

Who would you want on your team if you were to survive a zombie apocalypse?

In the last scenario, you had to pick a leader to take your team on a dangerous trek through the mountains to safety.

In that scenario, a friend who worked under me at church, picked me to lead the charge through the mountains.  At first, I felt a sense of pride that she selected me.  Then she added, “No, wait.  I change my mind.  Mike would set too fast of a pace, and none of us would be able to keep up.”

We all laughed, but the truth of what she said stung.  This was a woman who served under me at church.  What she said was revealing.  I had work to do.

All Gas No Brakes. 

Even if you have never consciously adopted this as your life motto, you may be living this way by default.

If you’ve been reading my weekly posts, you know that I admire the lion and lamb qualities of Jesus. The Bible describes him as the Lion of Judah and the Lamb worthy to be slain.  Lion attributes include courage, strength and boldness.  Lamb attributes include humility, gentleness and kindness.  I believe that it’s the fusion of both that makes a man a good man.  It brings a healthy balance to a man’s life and the many roles he plays.  [This is familiar language for men going through the Living Lionhearted Journal.  I’m leading this study again on Tuesday nights beginning in January.  Details HERE.]

“All Gas No Brakes” sounds like a badass way to live—even inspirational to a point.  But it is too much lion.  The lion-man isn’t gentle, kind, humble or considerate of those he leads.   He runs at a pace that others can’t.  It’s self-serving.

Are you guilty of this?  At work? At home?  With your employees?  With your wife or children?

Behind the idea of “All Gas No Brakes” is a “win at all costs” mindset.  Believe me, I like to win.  But there are more important things than winning.

The best leaders know when to hit the brakes.

I’m sure that some of you are tracking with me 100%.  You know you need to slow down.  But some of you don’t have this problem.  Some of you need to step on the gas!  Maybe you’re playing it too safe by going slowly.  Maybe fear is holding you back.  Maybe you need a little more lion.

The goal is balance, of course.

The life of man is like a swinging pendulum.  To the right is too much lion, too much gas.  To the left is too much lamb, too much brake.

Where are you at this moment in your life?

Think about the different roles you play.  Where do you need to slow down and where do you need to speed up? 

Part 3 next week…

 

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