When you Flub
This past Sunday we were talking about giving, and I felt it important to take time to address the issue of the Prosperity Gospel and how it corrupts our witness by promising stuff over Jesus. So anyway, I was "in the groove" and was going on and on about the supremacy of Christ and all that, and then to drop the hammer I said
"I don't know how else to say it, I hate the Gospel.... The Prosperity Gospel."
Luckily I got it corrected, but for a second there I had just told a packed room of people I hated the very good news that brought us all together. I flubbed. And thankfully no one threw rocks at me.
If you're serving in leadership, you're going to flub. You're going to flub in front of a lot of people. It's going to be embarrassing. People will laugh. You may not. But they will. You'll mess up an email or a text message. It's inevitable.
So when you do, here's how you can respond:
1. Embrace it - You laid an egg. Step back and enjoy it. One day you'll laugh about it. I've seen speakers on a national platform make a mistake. Everyone remembers Senator Rubio getting a case of cottonmouth and needing water after the State of the Union. Join the club, you made a mistake.
2. Remember you're not perfect - It happens sometimes I think as a reminder of our imperfection, our need for grace, and a way to deflate whatever ego has been blown up. So often we can fall victim to a performance mindset that makes us focus on our transitions, presence, and all of the nuances so what comes off is flawless. Flubs remind us like John Piper says, we are not professionals.
3. Let it go - You can't fix it, you can't take it back. Laugh it off and move on. It could always be worse, you could be this guy. Dwelling on your mistakes, even if they're funny, is a distraction that keeps you from focusing on what's important.
4. Learn from it - Sometimes we make flubs because our brain isn't firing as fast as our mouth. Other times we flub because we're being stupid, rushing, or not taking in fully what's going on.
What's your best flub as a leader? How'd you bounce back from it?
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Scott M. Douglas
A blog about leadership and the lasting legacy of family ministry.