Podcast: Mistake Your Way To Success

Listen to the audio-only version of this podcast by clicking on the player below, or scroll down to watch the video.

On this episode of “The Craig And Greg Show” we talk about: 

  • [0:20] Craig shares an insightful quote from John Maxwell 
  • [0:45] The guys claim to have never made a mistake, and we definitely believe them…
  • [1:12] Mistakes help both individuals and teams grow 
  • [2:12] Craig shares a lesson from his wife’s classroom about it being a safe place to make mistakes 
  • [3:06] Leaders need to distinguish between success and perfection 
  • [3:50] What do our faces show when others make mistakes? 
  • [4:40] Greg explains how grace and humility from the leader will help other teammates deal with their mistakes 
  • [6:16] Sports show us how mistakes can lead to excellence 
  • [7:24] Greg’s football mistakes led to his high level of success 
  • [11:06] Leaders have to remind everyone that mistakes aren’t fatal 
  • [13:30] Thomas Edison gave us a good example about success coming from failure 
  • [15:31] When leaders share their mistakes, it’s freeing for the rest of the team
  • [17:26] Leaders need to take initiative—as the leader goes, so goes the team

Check out this episode and subscribe on YouTube so you can watch all of the upcoming episodes. You can also listen to our podcast on Spotify and Apple.

A Safe Place For Mistakes

Listen to the podcast of this post by clicking on the player below, and you can also subscribe on AppleSpotify, or Audible. 

Josh had just graduated from high school when I came to pastor in Cedar Springs. As I sat with this outstanding young man I asked him what he wanted to do next. 

“I’m not exactly sure,” he told me, “but I really feel like it’s something involved with ministry.” 

“Great!” I responded. “Let’s start experimenting.” 

I told Josh that our church was going to be a safe place to experiment: to plan new things, to try new things, to prayerfully evaluate the results, and then to use those results to plan new things. Josh jumped in right away, and over a short period of time we were eventually able to ascertain just how God had wired Josh for his niche of ministry. 

But this would have never happened without some missteps along the way. 

That’s okay. 

Leaders need to create an environment where it’s safe to make mistakes, because mistakes are a vital component of learning. 

My wife is a 3rd Grade teacher. A bulletin board in her classroom lovingly tells her students, “Our classroom is a safe place to make mistakes,” and then she gives them the keys to their successful learning. 

Leaders can help those around them grow through their mistakes by constantly reinforcing these six principles: 

  1. When someone complains, “This is too hard,” remind them, “This may take some time and effort.” 
  2. When someone says, “I’m not good at this,” prompt them to ask, “What am I missing?” and then encourage them to add, “I’m not good at this yet.” 
  3. When someone wants to settle with, “It’s good enough,” challenge them to ask themselves, “Have I given this my best effort?” 
  4. When someone wants to throw in the towel by saying, “I made a mistake,” remind them, “I failed is not the same thing as I am a failure,” and then remind them, “Mistakes help me learn.” 
  5. When someone is exasperated and says, “I give up,” come alongside them with, “Let’s try a strategy we’ve already learned.” 
  6. When someone says, “I can’t do this,” you need to lovingly encourage them with, “You can do this!” 

These responses will help foster an abundance-mindset environment where people aren’t defeated by their mistakes, but they’re energized to reengage and try again. As the brilliant inventor Thomas Edison quipped, “I’ve had a lot of success with failure.” 

Leaders, let’s make our spaces the safest places for the mistakes that lead to discovery, growth, and success. 

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Book Reviews From 2021

Listen to the podcast of this post by clicking on the player below, and you can also subscribe on AppleSpotify, or Audible.

I love reading, and I love sharing my love of good books with others! Here is a list of the books I read and reviewed in 2021. Click on a title to be taken to that review.

24

AC/DC

Churchill’s Ministry Of Ungentlemanly Warfare

Faithlife Illustrated Study Bible

George Whitefield

Hal Moore On Leadership

His Last Bow

Holy Sexuality And The Gospel

How Christianity Changed The World

How I Got This Way

How To Bring Men To Christ

Jesus On Trial

John Adams

Miracles Out Of Somewhere

My Lucky Life

Out Of The Silent Planet

Perelandra

Pilgrim’s Progress

Prayer

Prophet With A Pen

QB

Reading The Bible With The Founding Fathers

Secrets Of Dynamic Communication

Seeing Beauty And Saying Beautifully

Shepherd Leadership

Star Struck

Talking To GOATs

That Hideous Strength

The Art Of Writing And The Gift Of Writers

The Hidden Smile Of God

The Hiding Place

Thompson Chain-Reference Bible

To The Work!

Voice Of A Prophet

Washington’s Immortals

Word-For-Word Bible Comic: Jonah

Here are my book reviews for 2011.

Here are my book reviews for 2012.

Here are my book reviews for 2013.

Here are my book reviews for 2014.

Here are my book reviews for 2015.

Here are my book reviews for 2016.

Here are my book reviews for 2017.

Here are my book reviews for 2018.

       Here are my book reviews for 2019.

Here are my book reviews for 2020.

►► Would you please prayerfully consider supporting this ministry? ◀︎◀︎

T.A.

Listen to the podcast of this post by clicking on the player below, and you can also subscribe on AppleSpotify, or Audible. 

I was recently reading a book about the “electrificiation” of America, which included biographies of Thomas Edison, George Westinghouse, and Nikola Tesla. 

From this book I learned that Thomas Edison’s most-used notation in his journals documenting his experiments was “T.A.” That stood for “try again.” This requires a certain amount of perseverance, or what I like to call stick-to-it-iveness. 

I have a whole chapter in my book Shepherd Leadership: The Metrics That Really Matter entitled Stick-to-it-iveness. Here are a couple of excerpts from that chapter—

Let’s be honest: caring for sheep is frequently a thankless role. Just as soon as they are brought to a green pasture, some of them decide they don’t like this particular pasture, or the water is too cold, or they would rather be with another shepherd. The long hours that shepherds put in are only rarely recognized by the sheep, and often the sheep ask why the shepherd wasn’t available more. 

This is the reason why shepherd leaders need to be secure in our simple statement: ‘God chose me.’ If God chose you for this role, He also equipped you for this role. And if He equipped you for this role, He also expects a return on His investment. This security of God’s calling and equipping and the weighty understanding of bringing to God a return on His investment should be our motivators to help us stick with our joyful responsibility. … 

One of the things that is extremely helpful to the stick-to-it-iveness of shepherd leaders—especially in those times we may be battling a pity party—is to remember that we are under-shepherds who are accountable to the Good Shepherd. This means that we don’t have to figure out on our own how to care for the sheep, because the Good Shepherd knows them better than we do, and He will share His insight with us. Neither do we need to learn the shepherding ropes on our own, because both God the Father (the Shepherd of Israel) and Jesus the Son have already demonstrated for us all that we need to do, and the Holy Spirit will continually impart to us the ways we can apply those practices to our particular sheepfold. 

I close this chapter with an attitude-correcting, security-building prayer that I wrote using Psalm 23 as my guide. 

Leaders especially need to be T.A. people—try again, and try again, and try again. Stick with it, and with God’s help you will be successful. 

I invite you to check out my book for yourself. You can read some reviews and additional excerpts by going to ShepherdLeadershipBook.com. 

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AC/DC (book review)

Listen to the podcast of this post by clicking on the player below, and you can also subscribe on AppleSpotify, or Audible. 

A few weeks ago a storm had knocked power out to our house, and yet I still automatically flipped on a light switch every time I walked into a room. We have become so accustomed today to the consistent flow of electricity everywhere, but that wasn’t always the case. Tom McNichol recounts the history of the epic battle that brought electricity to our homes and offices in his book AC/DC.

I think most people would call Thomas Edison the pioneer of the flow of electricity to homes that lit up the lightbulbs he created. This is true in a certain respect, and yet it is only a fraction of the story. Edison did perfect a lightbulb for the express purpose of enticing people to bring electricity into their homes or businesses, and he did create a power station to generate that electrical flow. 

But power can flow through either direct current (DC) or alternating current (AC), and Edison steadfastly—some might even say stubbornly—stuck to his conviction that DC power was the way to go. In the meantime, other inventors, especially George Westinghouse and Nikola Tesla, were perfecting and promoting the superior advantages of AC power. The battle between these forces was vicious, unrelenting, and at times gruesome! 

Interestingly, it took the unique talents and prodigious minds of all three of these inventors to bring us the electrical systems we now rely upon so heavily to power our homes, businesses, cars, computers, and smart phones. From AC wired power to DC battery-stored power, we are daily grateful for these inventors’ creativity. 

I will add a slight footnote to this review that I found the bookend chapters of this book—that is the first and last chapters—to detract from the overall fascinating history. The opening chapter talks about man’s fear and fascination of lightning, and the last chapter talks about a modern-day technology battle that I found incongruous with the history of the AC/DC battle. But despite those somewhat awkward chapters, I found the balance of the book to be quite entertaining and educational. 

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Success From Failure

People are rarely successful the first time they try something. In fact, Thomas Edison once quipped, “I’ve had a lot of success with failure.” 

And you’ve probably heard the tried-and-true cliché—If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again. 

Here are five attitude-adjusting thoughts and one key question about failure and success from John Maxwell: 

  1. Failure is an attitude, not just an outcome.
  2. Success comes by going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm.
  3. Failure isn’t failure unless you learn nothing from it.
  4. Failure is an opportunity to begin again, but more intelligently.
  5. Failure never leaves us the same: I’m either leaving the failure and giving excuses, or I’m learning from the failure and I’m growing. 

John then asks: “The key question on your bad day is: Are you going to give up or get up?” 

What are you going to do with failure?

If you want to read more, check out John Maxwell’s book Sometimes You Win, Sometimes You Learn, or some other Maxwell quotes here.

15 More Quotes From “Success 101”

Susscess 101One of the things I enjoy about John Maxwell’s books is the number of other resources he employs to make his point: motivational sources, historical sources, quotes, stories, personal examples, and more. Here are some of the quotes Dr. Maxwell shared in his Success 101 book.

“Everyone has his own specific vocation or mission in life. Everyone must carry out a concrete assignment that demands fulfillment. Therein he cannot be replaced, nor can his life be repeated. Thus everyone’s task is as unique as his specific opportunity to implement it.” —Viktor Frankl

“There is no man living who isn’t capable of doing more than he thinks he can do.” —Henry Ford

“A blind man’s world is bounded by the limits of his touch; an ignorant man’s world by the limits of his knowledge; a great man’s world by the limits of his vision.” —E. Paul Hovey

“Failure is really a matter of conceit. People don’t work hard because, in their conceit, they imagine they’ll succeed without ever making an effort. Most people believe that they’ll wake up someday and find themselves rich. Actually, they’ve got it half right, because eventually they do wake up.” —Thomas Edison

“Sir, I salute you not only as a great leader of men, but as an indomitable Christian gentleman who wouldn’t give up.” —General Charles Cornwallis, when he surrendered to George Washington

“I start where the last man left off.” —Thomas Edison

“Success is a little like wrestling a gorilla. You don’t quit when you’re tired—you quit when the gorilla is tired.” —Robert Strauss

“Every successful person finds that great success lies just beyond the point when they’re convinced their idea is not going to work.” —Napoleon Hill

“The greatest mistake one can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.” —Elbert Hubbard

“He who makes no mistakes, makes no progress.” —Theodore Roosevelt

“Nobody whoever gave their best ever regretted it.” —George Halas

“If you do what you can, with what you have, where you are, then God won’t leave you where you are, and He will increase what you have.” —Bill Purvis

“Each time you decide to grow again, you realize you are starting at the bottom of another ladder.” —Ken Rosenthals

“Start doing what is necessary; then do what is possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” —Francis of Assisi

“The only conquests which are permanent and leave no regrets are our conquests over ourselves.” —Napoleon Bonaparte

I also shared some quotes from John Maxwell himself in Success 101. You can read those by clicking here.

Read The Red Letters

Read the red lettersLet’s see if you can guess what famous person said the following (the answers are below … but no cheating!):

  1. “The phonograph is of no commercial value.”
  2. “I think there is a world market for about five computers.”
  3. “I tell you Wellington is a bad general, the English are bad soldiers; we will settle the matter by lunch time.”
  4. “There will never be a bigger plane built.”
  5. “The world potential market for copying machines is 5000 at most.”

People get it wrong lots of times. Even really smart, successful people. King Solomon, who was called the wisest of all, wrote a book called Ecclesiastes in which he shared some bad advice he tried to follow. In the closing verses he gave this warning, “My son, be warned. Of making many books there is no end so do not believe everything you read, and much study is the weariness of the flesh” (Ecclesiastes 12:12).

In the Hebrew world there were three departments of knowledge:

  • Law―words from God to man
  • Prophesy―judgment from God on how man is doing in observing God’s law
  • Wisdom―man’s attempt to live out God’s law based on observation, experience, and reflection (for a great example of all three departments at work, see Luke 10:25-37)

What we need is someone who (1) knows God’s way, (2) lives God’s way, and (3) can teach us how to live out God’s way for ourselves. Someone who is perfect, flawless in every phase. We need the One Who said, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away” (Matthew 24:35). That One is Jesus.

Can I make a suggestion that will bring you amazing results? Spend some time reading the red letters. That is, go to the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John and focus on the words of Jesus (which many Bible translations print in a red font). There I am certain you will discover the greatest words ever spoken!

If you can, please join me over the next few Sundays as we will be attempting to discover the greatest words ever spoken on a variety of subjects. Folks have turned in the questions that they would like answered, and we are going to look to the red letters to see what Jesus has to say.

Answers to the quiz:

  1. Thomas Edison, remarking on his own invention 
  2. Thomas Watson, Sr., chairman of IBM
  3. Napoleon Bonaparte, at a breakfast with his generals preceding the Battle of Waterloo
  4. A Boeing engineer, after the first flight of the 247, a twin engine plane that held ten people 
  5. IBM board of directors, to the eventual founders of Xerox
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