Climbing Trees


Stephen Covey says, “A leader is the one who climbs the tallest tree, surveys the entire situation, and yells, ‘Wrong jungle!'”

Life is a jungle, and there are a lot of trees. If you want to be a leader, you need to understand the Pareto Principle. The idea is this. Focus your attention on the activities in the top 20 percent in terms of importance, and you will have an 80 percent return on your effort.

You should have a to-do list, unless you don’t mind wasting time. On that list, let’s say you have ten items for the day. You need to spend 80 percent of your time on the two items that will produce 80 percent of the results.

As a pastor, I focused on two things: feed and lead. I fed the flock and I led the church. All the other stuff went into my 20 percent category.

That doesn’t mean the other stuff isn’t important, but you can’t do everything. You need to focus on that which a) you do well, and b) only you can do.

That is what Jesus did. He spent 80 percent of his time with 12 men. He didn’t visit hospitals, write books, or teach seminary. He did a few things very well.

And every now and then, he had to look at the disciples who wanted to do too much, and say, ‘Wrong jungle!'”


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