Catalyst: Duck Hunting

2 07 2008

READING: John 1-5

LEARNING This image of duck hunting really rocked my world. “You don’t have to get all the ducks to be successful…Leaders don’t evaluate everyone success by getting everyone on board, but celebrating and investing in those who respond.” As a people pleaser, it’s an easy trap for me to get caught in…focusing on the ones who don’t catch the vision, instead of those that do. Learning to live with the missed ducks has been one of the most challenging lessons personally as a leader. I could write about it ’til the cows come home. Focusing on missed ducks will lead to discouragement and take you off mission. I know in the past it took me away from celebrating and investing the ducks who caught the vision and were ready to rock this world for Christ. Everyone…pouring yourself into a core is still the greatest way to change the world. Jesus had three years to build His church and He spend most of his energy, effort and leadership in a group of eleven (and one didn’t EVEN get it with the greatest leader of all time, Jesus).

GET PERSONAL: What is your next event planned at Epic? Who might be the small group core that you could invest in to create momentum?




8 responses

3 07 2008
Jodi Kade

As I read this chapter I was thinking…I don’t know, maybe this is one thing that I’m actually ok at (either that or I’m looking at it wrong…lol).
In the administration department, I often recruit new people to help with things. I can usually tell right away whether they’re serious about helping and getting the job done, or not. When I notice they’ve dropped the ball, or that they don’t seem to catch the vision, I let them off the hook right away and don’t sweat it. I don’t look back…I guess I’ve decided that my time is too precious to spend it spoon feeding, catering to, or just sitting around hoping that one day they might possibly get it. It’s much more productive for me to focus on and praise those who are totally on board, and that have the “whatever it takes” mentality.
On the flip side, maybe I let too many fish go, or write people off too soon. Maybe I don’t spend enough time holding people accountable to what they’ve committed to do, or enough time explaining it to those who don’t get it, or who don’t catch the vision.

3 07 2008
Tom Page

This is definitely hard for me. Being the youngest in my family, I was always the peacemaker ( never wanted anyone mad ). Also, my 2 siblings were girls and this made it tough( I was the youngest with no one to hang with ). I have a tough time with rejection and It makes me crazy if people are disinterested. I think I’m ok at my sales job because I find rejection tough….but I do back off when someone isn’t totally interested. I know this is how Jesus operated, but its difficult for me.

5 07 2008

I feel like I am with both Tom and Jodi on this one. I am a people pleaser by nature. I get real nervous inside when I feel I have offended someone or if they are not “on board” with my vision. I almost get paralyzed, in a sense.

However, I have learned that numbers are a dangerous thing. We focus too much on them. In a study that I was doing this past spring, a question was asked “what is something that brings you down or depresses you?”. My answer was “numbers”, like my age, numbers at church, financial numbers, etc. It is so easy to get caught up in the “missed ducks” mind set. And when you are stuck there, you are missing out on all the wonderful ducks around you!!

As a leader, I am training myself not look at what isn’t, but what is!!

9 07 2008
Denise Hillbom

I am with all you people pleasers, in fact it has caused some real trouble in my past. Since being involved with Epic I am learning it is such a waste of precious time and energy. Thank you Eric for calling me out on this in our last meeting. Matthew 8:18-23 really spoke to me as I saw Jesus was clear focused and on mission and didn’t worry that what he had to say would offend or turn people away. As I lead a team of wonderful people who give their time, I owe it to them to be this kind of leader and not be worried they will bolt if they don’t like me or our initiatives.

9 07 2008

It seems an ironic truth that to really connect with people one must not be overly concerned with the connection–i.e. when we grasp too tight the stuff slips right through our fingers. When thinking about the duck hunting example, I found it applicable to my life outside leadership roles, possibly even more applicable. I started thinking about myself as a missed duck, as the one that doesn’t catch the vision or fall into a core group. I’m hoping this sense will prove useful in the future because as the duck hunting lesson shows there are always a bunch of missed ducks.

13 07 2008

I can fully understand the references in the Duck Calling article. Earlier in my life, I thought that winning the entire flock was my goal, but with experience I found that winning, even a small group, was what was important. Like the references to Jesus in the question section, we need to only focus on those who will follow and to move forward.

I was truly awakened one time during my career, when I thought the entire team was in sync with a set of goals that we discussed and agreed to. A small group emerged that didn’t believe in what was being developed. They didn’t counter the plan, but simple sat back. As success grew, they were still “doubting Thomases”. I was finally told by one of them that they would wait me out. What happened was they left, and those who followed stayed and continued to succeed.

14 07 2008
Tim Kade

This topic of Duck Hunting is worth repeating over and over at Epic. Can anyone think of a phrase that we can use to motivate us and others that would state it clearly and succinctly?

17 07 2008

I’m so glad to hear from all of you that it’s not just me. I agree that this is a tough concept. Call it human ego, shakey self esteem, or even “middle child syndrome” (always trying to get noticed between oldest and youngest child??)but I struggle and question my methods and presentation whenever I realize that some aren’t as excited or on board with my “big ideas”. I’ll start second guessing myself instead of trusting in God’s direction. I love jr high, because unlike adults that will mind their manners and politely seem to be accepting and going along, jr high students will blantently come right out and tell you if they think something is “awesome” or “lame” without the fasad. (Talk about highs and lows of ministry) Jesus knew how to lead, focus His energies and move on. What an example to follow, and what a goal to strive for. Although I struggle, God is helping me understand what needs attention, and what I need to let go of.

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