Can You Cheer From the Bench?

What’s more important to you: to make your team win or for your team to win?

Two very similar options but with potentially radically different outcomes. Both want the victory but one only wants the victory if a certain person brings it about.

One of the most irritating things is to be put on the bench (taken out of the game). People can be benched for a variety of reasons: your time is up, there are better players, you’re resting, you’re transitioning to a different role, etc. But how leaders respond to moments like this is telling of what our real objectives are.

If we really just want our team to win, then it SHOULDN’T MATTER who scores the points. We will cheer just as loudly regardless of our personal stats. But if we can’t really cheer or be happy from the bench, then maybe we’ve just revealed our true goals.

Yesterday, at our office staff meeting, people from our staff came back with terrific reports – CJ spoke about our amazing work in General Santos and Babes had great news from Dasmariñas.

But the highlight was Fiona, our youngest member at 20 years old, who just got back from our outreach efforts to Iligan, Mindanao, recently hit by Typhoon Sendong. She talked of students from all religious backgrounds coming to know Jesus, of their unity as a team and of the resilience of the local church.

As I listened to all their stories, I wished I had gone too. I used to love those kinds of assignments: being in the thick of the action, going on an adventure, and seeing lives changed. But the work schedule didn’t permit it. For this outreach, I was benched. But that’s not the point. The objective is to help those people in that city. That was accomplished; end of story. We celebrated as a team because we won as a team – those who went and those who stayed behind.

I’m proud of our teams who’ve gone – some have returned, others have just left. Joey Molina, the team leader, did his homework well and that helped ensure their success. They related with the students, showing them compassion and kindness. The work they did will bear fruit for years. Our church there is amazing as well. They’re the right people for this time. God is making the best from this tragedy. Good job, you guys.

So, what’s your objective? Do you want to be the one to make your team win? Or do you just want your team to win?

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