In his book, The 5 Levels of Leadership, John C. Maxwell shares the true account of an experience of John Wooden, the great UCLA basketball coach….
“Most of my college players shot for a higher percentage at UCLA than they did in high school.” I played basketball, so I knew it was unusual for a player to move in that direction when going to a higher level.
“How did you accomplish that?” I asked.
“The first few days of basketball practice,” he explained,” I would observe the players shooting the ball from various places on the court. When I determined the place they made the best percentage of shots, ‘their spot’, I would take them to that place and say, “This is where I want you to shoot the ball. I will design the plays to make sure that happens.'”
Coach Wooden would also point out places on the floor where they needed to pass the ball instead of shoot it. In this way, he made the most of a strength (by having them shoot) and turned a potential weakness into a strength (by having them pass to someone int heir place of strength).
(taken from the above mentioned book, pages 155-156)
This story has been resonating in me all week. Here we read a principle that we can apply to so many situations…..
Utilize people where their strengths will shine.
We can apply this to ourselves, our children, those we work with, and those we serve with in church. We each have been created with different gifts & abilities. God designed us exactly in that way. We should not treat any two children or people as though they same. Each one of us is unique & the manner in which we function & shine will vary. Let’s set one another up for success by letting each one participate where our strengths are on display & our weaknesses are well hidden.
Why do that?
In so doing….
- we build each one up.
- we confirm to them that they are important & their contribution truly does matter.
- we give breathing room for each one to grow & stretch in their abilities
- others will be more to venture out into new areas
- we minimize competing with one another
- we all benefit
This is the manner by which we build a healthy family, work environment & church. Paul put it this way in the book of Romans:
Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us.Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically.(Romans 12: 3b-11 NLT)