Care, but not too much…

Today, a young lady cried in practice because our topic took her back to some not so good memories. Today, a young man shared his story of pulling out the bazooka when dealing with a bully. He realized his fear was misplaced. Being tough, in the moment, wasn’t nearly as hard as he’d imagined. And, today, another youngin’ learned he’s more likely to get sued for caring – caring too much. Today, I’ve come to believe, is a fairly normal day in my life’s work. I’m learning to take the work seriously; myself, not so much.

Everyday in the work of BTL, I attempt to speak and listen “truth in LOVE.” It is rare the teams I’m practicing with hear what I want them to. Oftentimes they hear something else playing in their head and mix it with the message coming from me. Sometimes they are hurting to such a degree they hear nothing. And, sometimes I use too many words, share them too fast, deliver them too passionately, and cause confusion instead of clarity. Sometimes I make a mess myself.

Here’s what I know. I’ve found peace in this. My aim is to master the work of building leaders and building teams with deep, hard earned trust – the kind that leads to unity. I do not measure my success by the words of praise or poison. Each week, I look back and write about what the work itself tells me. My aim is mastery and I’m miles from it. So, each week, I’m writing where I can get better and kicking my own to take it up more than a notch. I demand the most of myself, then the leaders, and then the team. The peace comes from my focus on mastering the work, not worrying about what others think. This has been the hardest mental gymnastics for my mind. I want very much to be liked and esteemed for my work. Speaking truth does not yield much of either.

Someday, however, the truth will set me free (John 8:32). I love marinating in this thought. Today, a few clients had a lightbulb go on. I didn’t flip their switch but my questions got them to. God, help me master this work and realize my role, my role, my role. God, help me care, but not too much…

1 thought on “Care, but not too much…

  1. Chester,

    Steve Pressfield sent me a copy of the Bhagavad Gita many years ago. It is one of my most cherished gifts from him and I have read it many times and along with the Bible is one of the books I read every day. Here is a quote from the Gita that I was reminded of as I read your post today. It took me many years of contemplation to understand it’s meaning:

    “You have the right to work, but for the work’s sake only. You have no right to the fruits of work. Desire for the fruits of work must never be your motive in working.”

    And yes, some day the truth will set us free (John 8:32) and we will all realize how the truth was always so close at hand.

    Keep pushing!

    Strength and Honor,


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