Michael Jordan and Dean Smith photo at UNC gam...

Quote: “You have the potential – no, you have the responsibility – to be a mentor and be mentored!” – John Wooden

One afternoon at a business conference, I learned some important leadership insights from the game of basketball as taught by an excellent speaker at the conference.  Prior to the speaker’s presentation, I had never really thought about the fact that a basketball player really only has the ball in his hands for two to three minutes in a 40 minute game.  So then, what does a player do with the other 37 to 38 minutes of the game?  For great basketball coaches, the answer to this question is quite potentially the real difference between their team winning and losing; therefore, they effectively prepare their players for playing well the other 37 to 38 minutes when they don’t have the ball.  The speaker emphasized that this insight is so crucial because the real game of basketball is actually played away from the ball and great coaches instinctively know that if you take care of the little things away from the ball, the big things with the ball will take care of themselves…provided of course that the little things do in fact lead to the big things.  For instance, learning how to thank your team mate for passing you the ball after you make a score is a little thing “away from the ball” that leads to big things “with the ball” – more scoring opportunities because of the small expression of genuine gratitude and humility with your team mates.

I recently read a quote from Michael Jordan at www.twitter.com/air_jordan which stated, “Years of practice amounted to years of achievement.”  Obviously, Michael Jordan is recognizing the importance that practice played in direct relationship to his achievements on the court.  And I think his statement also clearly affirms the leadership principle that the big things in our life will not happen without us first taking care of the little things that lead to the big things.  So what are some of the little things in life that we must focus upon and diligently practice in order to properly position and equip ourselves for the big things in life? 

I have learned from my Senior Pastor as well as from real life personal application that we can learn life lessons in one of two ways: revelation (mentors and wisdom) or tribulation (mistakes and pain).  Personally, I’ve tried both ways and I so much prefer the revelation way that I now spend many hours seeking revelation wisdom from wise qualified mentors who can teach me the little things away from the ball that will prepare me for the big things with the ball.  The great apostle Paul clearly understood this wisdom principle when he encouraged his disciples to diligently observe him, learn from him, and do like him as a qualified wise mentor of faith who imitated his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  In fact, through his secure personal relationship with Jesus Christ, Paul confidently states in 1 Corinthians 11:1, “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.”  Wow, this is real life mentorship at its best!  Therefore, with a spirit of wisdom and humility, may we be like Paul – qualified wise mentors of faith and revelation who freely give others life lessons that we have freely received from the Lord and other qualified wise mentors of faith.

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Have a blessed “Make It Happen” day!

Edited by The Make It Happen Moment ® Editorial Team

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