Leadership: Not All Great Ideas are Good Ones

By Nancy Virden (c)2020

We visionaries tend to go ga-ga over every idea in our heads. That is, until life lessons kick in and we sort, discard, or keep accordingly. (Contrary to my premise, I read about a man who writes down every idea because it may become something one day. I’d like to brag, “Well, he has time to take notes all day,” except he has a thriving invention career. ~sigh~). Moving on…

It struck me funny how old I was when the title of this blog finally sunk in (I won’t admit how old). Naturally, we are thrilled with our ideas! They come from a person with whom we almost always agree. It is when those ideas are shared outside of our brains that their wings are somewhat clipped.

Imagine a giant wall with a circle in the middle that reads, “wisdom”. Branching out from the center are dozens of lines leading to more circles. Each circle has one heading such as family or books. Hundreds of post it notes and lines under each heading now clutter the area with ideas expanding into thoughts, sub ideas and sub thoughts until the building must be torn down to make room for more walls!

You see what I did there? All of it stems from the assumption of wisdom. The intention behind such an unending task might be to create a source of inspiration for work, excellence with family, and ultimately avoidance of failure. Talk about bragging! It would be a wall so filled with conceit it would swell and pop.

That is why not all great ideas are good ones. We tend to marry our great ideas, perhaps becoming immovable. Input from others feels like distraction instead of insight. Words tumble out of our mouths such as, “If I want it done right, I have to do it myself.” Instead of taking time to train helpers, we are impatient and protective. Who does not want their great idea to fly?

We may have to wait for one of those life lessons to remind us to listen for other perspectives. Accepting input is not only a skill, it requires learned humility and patience.

I think this is one piece of what Jesus meant when he accused religious leaders of hypocricy. They refused to listen to him and spat out only their own legalistic ideas. Jesus said, “You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are.”

Ouch. Among our great ideas are some good ones (something our note-taking inventor knows well). Nonetheless, the best are plucked from our wall of self-wisdom, inspected under the light of God’s Word, laid out for others to mold, and prayerfully considered. These pauses are not blockades, they are wings.

Today’s Helpful Word

Psalm 143:8

Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,
    for I have put my trust in you.
Show me the way I should go,
    for to you I entrust my life.
A prayer

Always the Fight Ministries (ATFM) has been displaying compassion for those fighting mental illness, addiction, or abuse since 2012. Nancy is the founder and voice of ATFM and openly shares her emotional resurrection from despair.


NOTE: I am not a doctor or a mental health professional, and speak only from personal experiences and observations. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.

If you are feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.

If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S. or go to your nearest emergency room. In the EU call 112. (For other international emergency numbers, go here ). Hope and help are yours!

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188, per BibLe Gateway. All rights reserved. Retrieved from https://www.biblegateway.com/

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