I’ve been reading a book called Extreme Ownership written by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin, a couple of Navy SEALs. The book’s first lesson is that it’s statistically proven that when those in leadership roles take full accountability for the success and failures of their unit, division, department, etc., that’s when serious results are able to be achieved. And it’s only then that organizations really start to thrive and excel.
I’m applying that principle to what we see going on throughout our country, with the riots and looting that are happening. I look at all the leaders’ responses. What do you see? All I see is a bunch of people who are passing blame onto other people, complaining that their governor isn’t giving them enough resources. Then the governors complain that the president isn’t giving them enough resources.
Have you heard a single person say, “You know what, Chicago? I’ve failed you. I was so strict with the lockdown orders that I’ve driven people insane.” We have 30 million people unemployed in this country. It’s no wonder — with how bored everyone is — that they see an opportunity to take advantage of, and here we are with all this violence and hatred in our country.
What keeps coming to me as I meditate on the situation in our country’s times is this: If you’re protesting against violence and hostility and injustice, how does it make sense that matching (if not exceeding) it with violence and anger and injustice is going to be the solution? You might be angry that George Floyd was killed by those police officers. But what about the young children whom you are killing because you’re basically stopping their parents from being able to put food on their tables by destroying their businesses? Is it not bad enough that business owners have just been through the roughest quarter in a long time for their businesses that we have to make it worse by smashing and stealing and looting from them? How does that make any sense?
As one of the founders and board members of Catholic Sports Camps, an organization that helps youth develop, I want to apologize from the bottom of my heart, and on behalf of Catholic Sports Camps: We’ve failed you. I’m speaking to you specifically, youth. We definitely failed you in that it is our responsibility and ownership to help youth grow into stronger disciples of Jesus Christ, and we have not been able to accomplish that mission. If anything, this is probably the weakest our organization has been since its foundation. I take full accountability for that and just wanted to apologize to our community that we can and should be able to do better than what we’ve done.
Prior to all the rioting and looting taking place, my brother Richard and I made the decision to start a leadership group with about 10 high school kids to really invest in our community. We saw that the once-a-year retreats or the two retreats we were doing every summer weren’t generating the results we were looking to accomplish. So we made the decision to start meeting two times a month with this youth leadership group. I envision it eventually meeting weekly and expending beyond virtual meetings to have fellowship, to break bread, to just have fun and invest in young leaders to help them grow spiritually, physically, mentally, and emotionally.
It’s a very sad and depressing time in our country’s history. I know that if instead of passing the blame and making excuses, our leaders actually took the humble position and took accountability for what’s going on in our country, we would really be able to start to transition for the better.
I hope this message blesses you. Be safe and take care. God bless.
CEO, Spirit Consulting
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Chris, so very well said. We all work under God’s time and I know your efforts on His will are making a difference in people’s lives.