Behind every successful leader is a handful of people who are working together to make his vision a reality. Theo Epstein is a great example of a successful leader. At 28 years old in 2002, he was the youngest General Manager in professional baseball. But in just over one year, he turned the Boston Red Sox into Major League champions. During the eight years when he managed the Boston Red Sox, the team won the Major League Championship twice.
Theo’s success earned him several impressive awards. In 2007, he was honored by the United States Sports Academy with its Carl Maddox Sport Management Award. In 2008, Baseball America named Epstein “Major League Executive of the Year.” In 2009, Sporting News honored him with the title, “Executive of the Decade,” while his team was honored as the “Team of the Decade.” He was also named Number 3 on Sports Illustrated’s list of the Top 10 GMs/Executives of the Decade (in all sports). If we’re fortunate, maybe Theo will bring some of his success to our Chicago Cubs and help us win a championship after our 100-year drought.
With all of Theo’s success, you might think he would be a proud person. But the truth is, it takes humility to learn the art of getting people to work together. Someone once asked Theo what was behind his success, and he said, “It’s not me; it’s everybody.” He understood that everybody had to do their part for the team to succeed.
This is an important principle in sports, but it’s just as important in the Christian life. There aren’t any big “I’s” or little “you’s” as we serve Christ. Each of us has to do our part to help the Body of Christ work. And each of us will have to answer to God, not for what we did, but how we did it. This makes everybody’s work important in the big picture.
Whether you’re out front in a position of leadership, or you’re working behind the scenes, never forget the importance of your work — and the importance of each person involved. This is real success.
If everyone is moving forward together, then the success takes care of itself. — Unknown Author
Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder