Orbiting the Hairball: Innovation without Disconnection (part 3 of 3)

(part 1 of this series explored the need for most of us, despite the desire to be innovators, to stay connected to our organizations via the gravitational pull of orbiting. part 2 looked at forces that corrode innovation.)

bow thrustersTwo Essential Thrusters for Sustaining Orbit
Spaceships and Large Ocean Vessels share a technology that helps them make minor directional adjustments without firing up their engines: thrusters. On a boat, bow thrusters move the front of the ship left or right. On a spacecraft, they provide short bursts of propulsion to move in any direction.

In order for us to stay in the sweet spot between a useless trajectory of our own and getting mired in the disabling affect of the hairball, we need two thrusters.

Anyone with healthy or unhealthy resistance to change (most of us have this) need a dose of courage from time to time to push us in the direction of innovation. Here’s what I have learned: I cannot make myself have courage anymore than I can make myself have the fruit of the Spirit. Spiritual courage comes from the Holy Spirit.

The etymology of the word itself tells us this. The root of courage (“cour”) means “heart”; and courage literally means “to have a full heart.” Excitement and praise and rewards and potential can partially fill my heart. But they’re not sustainable. My heart can only be truly topped off in the face of significant risk by the fuel of the Holy Spirit.

I’m done being an arrogant risk-taker. I want no part of innovation born out of my own hubris. Instead, I long to experience a life of humility. Humility can keep me from believing my innovations are sure-fire. Humility can keep me from steamrolling people. Humility can prevent me from dismissing others, made in the image of God, who do not agree with my inventions.

I long to experience a life of Jesus-y courage tempered by Jesus-y humility.

I long for a tribe of youth workers who will fire up their thrusters of courage and humility, overcome their fears and insecurities, and move into orbit together, not disdaining the hairball, but exerting our own gravitational pull on it while it reciprocates with us.

One thought on “Orbiting the Hairball: Innovation without Disconnection (part 3 of 3)”

  1. great analogy – the visual of huge boats adjusting direction is a natural parallel for most organizations – especially the church! as i reflected on the 2 thrusters it hit me that when i reflect on my own journey and the other leaders i have worked with or around – we all tend to specialize in one thruster or the other. I have specialized in humility most of my leadership seasons, perhaps at the expense of courage. As i am stepping out more boldly with courage in this season – i am more conscious of needing to stay conscious of the tenuous threshold of courage motivated by ego not humility. any advice for keeping them in check?

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