As I write this post while watching the Super Bowl, everything is about success. Which of the Harbaugh brother coaches will be successful, Jim or John? Which team will be a success, Ravens or 49ers? Which commercials will be most successful? Will the Halftime Show be a success? By the time you read this, you will have made up your mind about what or who was or wasn’t successful.

SuccessAwhile back, I was asked by a young leader at our church, “When you look back over your life, to what would you attribute your success?” Since one of my missions in life is to help young leaders succeed, I really do try to answer such questions. While I’m still a work in progress, I am more than midway through my life and career so I can definitely point to some things that have helped me to succeed.

Here are several things I attribute my success to:

God’s grace – I can’t claim anything all that special about me. By birth, an Oregon farm boy. Really, I do not deserve the favor I have found. His grace has been amazing in my life. It’s really all about His grace and the opportunity we all have to receive it and flow in it.

Other People – A lot of people invested in me over the years. My parents. My high school principal. College professors. Pastors. Friends. Church Board members. Teammates. And, definitely, my wife. I’ve had lots of people in my corner over the years.

Purpose – I’ve generally known what I ultimately wanted to accomplish. I believe you hit a lot more targets when you have them in your sight. Sometimes it has been a few months or a few years down the road, but I’ve most always tried to keep some clear direction and purpose in front of me…as much as God will allow me to see at the time.

Intentionality – I have been very intentional about my life. After high school, I steadily pursued getting my education to prepare for ministry for seven solid years. I chased every opportunity I could find to learn more about what it would take to launch a fruitful church. And, in all other areas of life, I’ve been very intentional to stay balanced and healthy.

Perseverance – I’ve encountered plenty of storms and obstacles in my journey. By God’s grace, I have repeatedly refocused, learned valuable life lessons and continued to move forward.

Sacrifice – Success always has a cost. I’ve lost friends because I had to make tough decisions to live out my mission. I’ve let go of power, financial reward and position to see others lifted up.

Invest in Others – I’m committed to invest in next-generation leaders. I genuinely love helping other people succeed. That’s the purpose of this blog. My investment in others has always returned to me in multiplied abundance. They make me look even more successful.


QUESTION: How would you answer that question? Please share in the Comment section below.

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