Friday, December 5, 2014

Short-term Projects and Long-term Relationships

Looking back on this season and further back at the past twenty-one seasons with Saluki Football, there are a couple of factors that have made for the enduring nature of our tenure and the successes we have enjoyed in this ministry. Some thoughts about these two factors follow. I hope they are of some value to you.

Factor number 1 – I value short-term projects. When people ask me to take on a project that would require years to complete, I break out in a cold sweat and immediately decline the invitation. If it’s a six month project, I’m listening, but with great reservations. If the project will last six weeks, six days, or six hours, I’m in! This sort of orientation fits the sports world very well as most everything we do is seasonal in nature and even if things are really bad, the season will be over shortly and we can move on.

Factor number 2 – I strongly value long-term relationships. Loyalty, faithfulness, and trustworthiness are among the values I hold most dearly in people and aim to develop in myself. These values have helped me maintain a wide network of long-term relationships. A number of the coaches and players who have been a part of our college football (American Football) program are still in touch with me and my wife. We have their phone numbers, email addresses, family details, Facebook pages, and more angles for staying connected. I seek them out when I visit the places where they live. I look for them at coaches conventions and similar events. Through the season I send text messages to around forty college football coaches scattered across the USA on Fridays and Saturdays.

The odd blend of valuing both short-term projects and long-term relationships has resulted in a freshness to each season with its constant changing of team roster, coaching staffs, and other factors. On the other hand, the continuity of being the veteran of twenty-one seasons lends a constancy to the program as seen by players’ parents, the coaches, and the university administration.

If you are similarly bent toward these two factors, I hope they serve to enhance your ministry with sportspeople as they have mine.

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