Servant leaders focus on what they can control, and don’t worry about those things they can’t control.

As you know if you have been reading my blog for the last year, I have a maple syrup operation. Last year at this time, it was 70 degrees, the ice was off the lakes, we had no snow on the ground, and the sap was finished flowing from the maple trees.

In the last week I woke up to sub zero temperatures most mornings, cars running around on the lakes like it was January, 2’ – 3’ of snow on the ground, and a forecast that says the sap won’t be flowing in the immediate future, as there is no sign of 32 degrees for another week.  What a difference a year makes.

The timing as to when the sap will start flowing is clearly out of my control, so I can’t worry about it. Instead I prepare. I can control the preparations so we are ready when it does start flowing. Focus on those things that you can control!

Preparation is always something that you can control. I really like to focus on the saying Easy-Hard / or Hard-Easy when thinking about the benefits of preparation. The harder you work on things today, the easier they will be in the future. Contrarily, if you take things easy today, it will usually make things harder on down the line. The harder you prepare, the better the outcome of what you were preparing for.

Think about utilizing this thought process in the following situations:

Practice / Game

Developing a Shared Vision / Future of the Organization

Building Relationships / Team Effectiveness

Saving Throughout Your Career / Retirement

If you take it easy in practice or preparation, game time will be hard. If you do the hard work of developing a vision of your organization and insuring that it is shared throughout, you will have an easier time of achieving your vision. If you take it easy on building relationships, your team effectiveness will be hard. If you do the hard work of saving throughout your career, retirement will be easier from a financial standpoint.

Using this analysis works on many aspects of leadership and life.

Focus on those things you can control, put in the hard work early, and I think you will find things become easier down the road.


David said, “My son Solomon is young and inexperienced, and the house to be built for the Lord should be of great magnificence and fame and splendor in the sight of all the nations. Therefore I will make preparations for it.” So David made extensive preparations before his death.  1 Chronicles 22:5

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