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Get out of the way

I recently read where the best advice you can get is to act upon the advice that you give to others. There is truth in these words as we often know what is best and we often offer it to others while choosing to ignore or not implement it in our own lives. We should also be wary of those who might offer bad advice or instruction which is out of context.

Having been a coach for over 20 years, I am apt to fall into the trap of not taking my own advice. I spend hours of my time breaking down the film from opponents. I will look for the break downs in discipline, the lack of technique or tendencies which I can use to exploit to our team's advantage. However, do I apply the same attention to detail to our level of play? Unfortunately, not as much as I should.

It is much easier to look at someone else's flaws than to examine your own. It is much easier to give advice than it is to take it and even much harder to take your own advice. In Proverbs 19:20 it is written, "Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future." We are called to listen to advice and be amenable to instruction so that we can apply it in such a manner as to make wise choices. We are also instructed to trust in only "wise" counsel and to seek advice from "an abundance of counselors. (Proverbs 24:6).

My grandmother had many quotes (she called the "sayings") on her refrigerator. One of my favorites was "Either lead, follow, or get out of the way." Advice is a principle component of leadership. If you want to lead well then you should offer good advice. Even more you should listen and apply your advice to your life as actions are just as important (if not more) than words when leading.

My grandmother had another saying on that old fridge, "You ain't leadin if nobody is followin." You want followers then don't offer bad advice. You want to be led to high ground then seek wise counsel and verify it to be wise by getting it from numerous reputable sources. I might posit the bible is a great place to start!

Throughout our lives we are called to lead. You might be called to lead at home, work, church, school, sports or somewhere else. Regardless, you need to be prepared having sought the advice of others, applied and verified that advice in your own life and offering it with grace. As the saying goes, if you are not offering good advice, not preparing yourself to offer advice, then please get out of the way!

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