A Big Oops

Just to prove that the term "leading smart" doesn't necessarily apply to me, every now and then I'll share a mistake that I've made.

I was 20-years old and was the team manager of a traveling road team for Life Action Ministries. The team included about 25 young adults ranging in age from 18- to 30-something. I was definitely one of the younger ones, but given some big leadership responsibilities. I know there were some older people on the team just waiting for me to mess up.

We were in Texas, and getting ready to head to Houston for a series of meetings. I had gone ahead to visit with the pastor to talk through some last minute details. He had been hospitalized for a couple of days, so our meeting took place in the hospital.

(For some background, you should know that I had never heard of prostate cancer, and didn't have any idea where the prostate was located. He was having surgery done on his prostate, and was also having some work done on the tendons in his wrist. Unrelated procedures, obviously, but I didn't know that at the time.)

So, when I came back the next day, I met with the team to brief them on our daily schedule and tell them about my visit with this pastor.

I let them know that the pastor was in the hospital, but "he is still in a little pain from the prostate work they did on his wrist."

That was it. I lost total control of the meeting. People were rolling around on the floor laughing their fool heads off--and I stood there in the front of the room, exposed for what I was...a kid who was getting his feet wet in leadership. Once I was given an anatomy lesson, I laughed at myself too. It's a good practice--to learn to laugh at yourself when you do something stupid!

Tim Stevens2 Comments