“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 that 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 give up on life.
Job persisted and kept putting one foot in front of the other. He had tenacity. God blessed Job in the second half of his life with double the blessings he had before. Even though his children couldn’t be replaced, God blessed him with more children. Job had a “Second Half Win”.
Let me challenge you today to be growth oriented and to keep moving forward. Don’t settle for success when you can have a life of significance.