“Don’t give up at halftime. Concentrate on winning the second half.” ~ Paul “Bear” Bryant.
It’s not over until it’s over! It is so important to be more “growth-oriented” than “goal-oriented” as a leader. Goals are important, however “goal-oriented” leaders tend to either “give up” when things go bad or “lay up” and take it easy when they achieve a goal.
On the other hand, “growth-oriented” leaders are always looking for a way to get better and keep moving forward. Reaching a goal energizes them to set the next goal higher. Failing to reach a goal motivates them to learn from their mistakes and do it better next time. Growth-oriented leaders always have a “next time”.
I often recommend Bob Buford’s book “Halftime” to men and women in their 40’s and 50’s who are at a crossroads in their careers. The book is a good read for anyone, but it especially resonates with those who have built a career only to find themselves floundering in midlife. The book uses the “halftime” analogy of a football game as the pause in which we make the necessary adjustments to win the game in the second half. All games are won or lost in the second half. It’s what you do at halftime that makes the difference in how you play the game in the second half. This was especially true in the life of Job.
“So the Lord blessed Job in the second half of his life even more than in the beginning. For now he had 14,000 sheep, 6,000 camels, 1,000 teams of oxen, and 1,000 female donkeys.” (Job 42:12 NLT)
Job did everything right, yet lost it all. He is the poster child for living through extraordinarily difficult circumstances. We will often hear the phrase “the suffering of Job”. I like to think of Job as a great example of a “growth oriented” leader. He never gave up. He evaluated, explored, and honestly questioned God. More than anything, Job desired to always do the right thing so it would honor God.
At the beginning of the story, Job was at the top of his game. He was wealthy and had a great family. Life couldn’t be any better. Then for reasons beyond his control and not of his own doing, he lost everything he had worked so hard for, including all his children. It had to be devastating. Many people would have quit right then and just given up on life.
Job persisted and kept putting one foot in front of the other. He had tenacity. God honored Job in the second half of his life with double the blessings had before. Even though his children couldn’t be replaced, God blessed him with more children. Job hung in there and had a “Second Half Win”.
Let me challenge you to be “growth oriented” today and play to win in the second half. Move beyond success to a life of significance and go for the win!