What is an Ounce Worth?


You are all familiar with the proverb: "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."
it is. Take a little time to be preventive of something bad so you don't have to spend a lot more time dealing with the attempt to cure, fix or repair what has broken. If you have ever had the flu and you didn't get your flu shot... you know what I mean.

Here is a version of the proverb that grabbed my attention: "An ounce of practice is generally worth more than a ton of theory."
I love it. What a great comparison. It builds on a very simple leadership principle. That is - leaders are action oriented. Even better, leaders are those who do the kinds of actions that lead to results. 

Don't get me wrong. I love the world of ideas (maybe too much). I am constantly reading, learning, thinking and enjoying the quest for knowledge. Brilliant ideas are exciting. But I know this - I have so many great ideas that have never seen the light of day in terms of being applied and integrated. I know MUCH MORE than I live. Learning is easier then putting it into practice. I can talk theory with the best of them... but at the end of the day, it is not my theory, not my talk about theory, but my practical application of the best theory - that matters.

Give me a leader who daily has an ounce of practice and they are going to be be more productive then a leader who stays in the land of theory. Have the best thoughts you can - absolutely. Then, make sure you are having the best daily practicing of your best thoughts. God, help me and help us to be constantly applying, executing, practicing, integrating, implementing and DOING THE TRUTH. In the end - that is what matters.

Someone, somewhere has said it this way. "God will not give more illumination until He sees us doing something with the light we have already received."

Here is a worthwhile little exercise.

  1. What are two or three of your most cherished ideas, your deeply held to principles or insights? 
  2. Now, for each one - how well did you live out and practice and incorporate those ideas into your life and leadership this past week? 
  3. What is God saying to you about the next steps He wants you to take about what you know?

Brian K. Rice
Leadership ConneXtions International
BrianRice@lcileaders.org