Published On: Mon, Mar 5th, 2018

Understanding The Times

Rick Alovis

Rick Boxx

While I was partnering with a friend, Jerry, on a consulting job, he shared a profound insight with Tom, who was one of our clients. Jerry’s observation was simple, but profound: “Success is the greatest impediment to greatness.”
Once success settles in, Jerry explained, it is not uncommon for leaders to believe achievements are due to their own professional brilliance. As a result they start to assume their success is perpetual. They think that whatever decisions they make will always prove to yield more success. As markets and conditions change, however, successful people can easily be left behind if they are not constantly looking to understand the times, recognizing when important changes occur and adapting accordingly.
Sometimes in today’s world, it seems the only thing that is unchanging is the reality that things can – and often do – change, sometimes at incredible speed. Embracing the status quo is an excellent strategy if you intend to be left behind while your competitors surge ahead.
Change, of course, is hardly a new concept, although technology and communications have certainly played a role in accelerating the rate and scope of change. The Bible offers some wise observations about change, and the importance of our willingness to respond to it effectively.
For instance, in the book of 1 Chronicles we find an interesting recounting of the great men who joined David in his battle against Saul. We learn about the, “men of Issachar, who understood the times and knew what Israel should do”(1 Chronicles 12:32). They were astute observers of what was occurring around them, seeking to discern how best to respond to changing circumstances.
The ancient book of wisdom, Ecclesiastes, also addresses the inevitability of change. The first verse of the third chapter begins with, “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.” It addresses changing demands of work in several ways:
“A time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted…. A time to break down, and a time to build up…. A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones…. A time to gain, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to throw away; a time to tear, and a time to sew…” (Ecclesiastes 3:2-7).
As we approach our work – formulating plans, developing strategies, undertaking projects, and evaluating results – it would be extremely beneficial to take a cue from the biblical men of Issachar, constantly seeking to understand the times so we will know what we should do not only to succeed, but also to pursue greatness.
At the same time, excellent leaders know that understanding the times and being willing to change their approach do not require changing or compromising their values. Those remain constant, serving as a lighthouse amid the ever-shifting seas of change.
Copyright 2018, Unconventional Business Network. Adapted with permission from “Integrity Moments with Rick Boxx,” a commentary on issues of integrity in the workplace from a Christian perspective. To learn more or to sign up for Rick’s daily Integrity Moments, visitwww.unconventionalbusiness.orgHis latest book and inspiration for their ministry name, Unconventional Business, provides “Five Keys to Growing a Business God’s Way.”

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