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for the curious about life and leading others

Seeing the Spark of Potential

Jared Kirkwood

I walked into my music instructor's office to receive the results from my recent tryout to become the trombone section leader in the marching band. I know, high aspirations for a 16 year-old kid.

"Jared, your playing ability isn't good enough to be section leader," he began with. "But you have something else to offer. There are 22 trombones in this band and they need a leader. So I am going to elect 2 section leaders, one who can help with musical quality, and then you."

I was left a bit confused. I wasn't surprised about my playing ability, I was mediocre at best. But, I tied? Two section leaders? If the other guy, who was a great friend of mine and had my respect, brought up the quality, what did I have to offer?

"What this band is lacking is motivation," he said. "I need you to inspire these young guys."

What he was saying is, Adam is going to help us with quality, but you are going to make them care.

My music instructor saw a spark of potential in me that could ignite an apathetic group of people. To inspire them to want more, to be more, and ultimately to be better. That's leadership. We don't have to be the best on the field, but we are responsible for the total outcome and what gets produced from the people on the field.

Awaking the potential leadership in the people around us is often times more advantageous than banking on the polished leaders.

Who's on your team? How are you inspiring them to move beyond apathy to the life of adventure God has for them? What are you doing to make your team care?