Archives For Success

oscar statueI recently heard Dustin Hoffman interviewed about his 50 year film career. In the interview Hoffman described himself as a peripheral person.

He noted how his 5’6″ boyish look never made him the automatic choice for a leading role. In 1967 Life Magazine said, “If Dustin Hoffman’s face were his fortune, he’d be committed to a life of poverty.”

The amazing thing about Hoffman is that he changed the idea of a leading male actor. The screenplay for one of Hoffman’s early films was written with a 6′ blonde-haired, blue-eyed leading role in mind (Robert Redford auditioned for the part.) Hoffman not only got the part he got an oscar nomination for his performance.

I’m not one to take sage-wisdom from Hollywood actors but something Hoffman said in his interview grabbed me: “Many times in life a peripheral person is the leading role.” (tweet that)

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confessionOne of the best teachers I ever had began the first class of each semester with a confession of how he had been fired from his last job.

There was something about that opening confession that set the whole class up to succeed. In fact a majority of his students did very well.

One time his students’ success brought him into question before the academic dean. The dean felt sure he was making exams too easy for his students. My prof brought a copy of his final exam and challenged the dean to pass it. The dean declined and dropped his concerns.

A few months ago I came across a post entitled “The 13 Biggest Failures from Successful Entrepreneurs and What They’ve Learned from Them”. These are not light-hearted confessions about failing to show up to work on time or missing project deadlines. I was struck by some of the “black-eye” confessions of wasting money and letting growth exceed the ability to lead.

I have worked in churches for over 18 years and I’ve rarely heard a pastor confess a leadership failure unless it was attached to moral failure. I certainly haven’t heard confessions from 13 prominent pastors.

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