Have you ever wondered why some people are more productive than others? If you are asking this question, you are a leader in some capacity. Parents, teachers, pastors, coaches, and managers are all some examples of leadership titles, but you don’t have to have a leadership title to be a leader. As leaders, we have a tendency to take personal blame for the lack of production in the lives of those we care about. We often ask ourselves: “What am I doing wrong?” I believe that is an unfruitful question born out of our handed down legalistic mindset.
That question does well if we are tied to the pre-Jesus law of sacrifice and response. Someone is doing poorly or not achieving their potential and we think we have to sacrifice ourselves in order to get a result. The truth is, though, that our fruitfulness is no longer bound by our level of sacrifice, but rather by our ability to find and connect with the source. Old Testament characters like Abraham were so faithfully willing to sacrifice the things they cared about the most as a way to connect with God for one thing: results. When God saw that Abraham was serious, he provided another sacrifice and spared his most valuable. Maybe God would want you to do the same thing today. Stop sacrificing yourself for the cause because it isn’t making any changes. Spare your emotional capacity and find the source that works instead. The source of motivation is always passion.
Instead of asking “what am I doing wrong?”, ask “what is their passion?” Posing the question this way removes yourself from being “the problem” and shifts your energy back into searching for a fruitful outcome. When passion is found, your leadership role at that point becomes one of resourcefulness rather than one of dependence. If your people are plugged into the right source they will produce the output they are looking for. The problem of production then becomes either their passion is unknown or their passion is being misused, underused, or abused. Either way, you have found the next step while preserving your self-image and confidence.
If this speaks to you today, think about the person that comes to mind. Do they know what they are capable of producing? Are they plugged into the right source to optimize their output? Do they have what they need to do that? Maybe a tougher question is this: if they are plugged in and they are using their passion properly, are you satisfied with them maybe playing a different part than you expected? If you are a doctor could you be happy for your son being a policeman? In that case, any hindrance of output could be tied to their fear of acceptance rather than being “lazy” at heart.