Every organization and leader drops the ball from time to time. Details slip, assignments are missed, and it’s usually the people downstream who suffer for it. When that happens, it’s too late to undo the past. What can be done is to acknowledge what went wrong and what you will do differently in the future. Failing to do this sends a message that leaders are either unaware or unconcerned.
People do not expect perfection from leaders. They do expect that when mistakes are made, the leaders at the top will own it.
I was born in the early years of what’s now called the Millennial generation. We’re an interesting group to say the least. Every generation has a word or two that best describes it. For Millennials that word seems to be entitlement – especially as it relates to our lifestyle and careers. One of the symptoms of growing up in the relatively comfortable environment our Boomer parents provided for us was a lack of awareness about all that life entails. We had it pretty easy. We didn’t realize how hard our parents worked. Over time, many of us came to the conclusion, “I deserve this.”
Now that we’re adults, we’ve discovered that you can’t have everything you want in life. Debt-free living means going without. Debt-fueled living brings with it the crushing weight of anxiety. Most jobs aren’t amazing or life-changing. You have to put in the time at the bottom if you want to make it to the top. Skipping from job to job (or career to career) isn’t a way to move up faster. It’s a path to nowhere. Every generation has to learn certain lessons the hard way. For me and my generation, that day is here.
It’s usually said that we can all identify with one of the two sons in the parable of the Prodigal Son. We are either bent toward reckless, immature living like the younger son or self-righteous rule-keeping like the older son. I typically see more of myself in the older son. I’m prone to think that my obedience somehow makes me more loved and accepted by God. I tend to be judgmental of those who aren’t as “good” at following the rules. The fact is I’m just as much like the younger son as the older son.
Asking for an early inheritance was akin to saying, “I no longer care if you’re alive. Just give me my due now.” The younger son was more interested in having his father’s stuff than he was in having the father. And this is where I see myself. It’s all those times when I choose and desire the things of this world more than the Father. Paul says in Romans 1 that the essence of sin is preferring the creation to the creator. I’m guilty of doing that. We all are because we’re all prodigals. Thankfully, we have a Father who loves prodigals.