Who Needs a Fresh Start?

and you are positioned to make it possible...

I was out for lunch yesterday. From time to time I go out to do some work. Every now and then I need a different atmosphere to think and write. So I drove over to my "go-to" Chinese buffet. I usually go late in the lunch hour so the crowd is small. I walked in and as the hostess led me to a table, there was an acquaintance I had not seen for several months. He lit up when he saw me, waved me over and asked me to sit down and join him.

I recognize divine redirects when they happen, so I did. No sooner do I sit down and he says, "I can't believe you walk in. God brought you here." It turns out he almost never goes to that restaurant. He was on his way to work... went out of his normal routine and there we were.

After some brief catching up...he dives right in and brings me up to speed about a recent situation and its repercussions. And he says, "This is so different from the last time...ten years ago."

That took me back, almost exactly ten years earlier when he was in a real crisis. There had been some ethical failures in the workplace. He was caught up in the mess, and I mean BIG TIME MESS. He dropped into my church office desperate to talk to someone about what to do. That was how we met. To make a long story short, he was able to navigate that very difficult time that had the potential for enormous, life changing repercussions....with only a little bit of fallout. What could have been a LOST career turned out to be a reprimand and a second chance, which he gladly took.

He reconnected with his faith in Christ,
he attended to the inner issues that led to the ethical failure,
he gave extra energy to his family. 

He knew he had received a second chance and he took it and he took it seriously. The last ten years have been mostly steady, upward progress. He is well positioned at work, providing good leadership, has a bright future, is very happy. Then recently, a mishap, a poor choice of judgment and some repercussions. Not real serious, but still of concern. So we talked about that...reminisced about the "ten years ago" crisis. Talked about what God has done. Ten years ago, I was facing a younger man consumed with angst, fear, anxiety, shame... this time, I was talking with a mature, thoughtful, calm man.

As I listened, I realized that ten years ago, a leader gave my friend a second chance. That leader took a step of faith when termination would have been expected. That "gamble" paid off. The decade since then has been ten years of meaningful, fruitful work and results. A life and career that could have had a radical turn downward has been full and productive...because a wise leader decided to give my friend a second chance, a fresh start and a new beginning.


Every day we are going to rub shoulders with people who make mistakes - some of them serious.
Every day we will interact with people who fail and sometimes disastrously so.
Every day we cross paths with some people who are facing a very bleak future because of their own bad choices.

With wise and discriminating insight - some of those people will respond VERY WELL to a fresh start and a second chance... but it will come from you. They need you to be the sponsor and mediator of that fresh start.

Keep your eyes open... your heart sensitive... your intuition on high alert... and your spiritual discernment sharpened... for those people. it is what Barnabas did for John Mark in the Book of Acts (Acts 15:36-41). It is what Jesus did for Peter (John 21:15-23). It is what my friend received. It is what you may be positioned to do for another. It is what God in Christ did for you. Wise leadership goes the extra mile to give the second chance to another. When it goes to those who do not deserve it, it is called grace.

Brian K. Rice
Leadership ConneXtions International