It’s been said that failure is the back door to success. It is, and so is risk. Indeed, Henry Lee (Hank) Allen in the book Men to Men observes that “Many of the most successful people or organizations either failed many times, took several risks, or both—before they achieved.”
Allen defines risk as “having the faith to attempt something new or different even though it might be hard or lead to failure.” He maintains that “risk is not recklessness; recklessness involves little or no forethought … In contrast, those who take risks are aware that they face enormous obstacles to achievement; yet, the rewards seem well worth the effort.”*
Strong leaders boldly take calculated risks. They must do so in order to advance their cause. That’s what Jesus did when he cleared the temple in Jerusalem. When he drove out the money changers and overturned their tables, Jesus ran the risk of enraging those ancient con-artists. He risked antagonizing the religious leaders and being misunderstood by the masses. But Jesus had to take that risk; he couldn’t sit idly by as these corrupt vendors made a mockery of his Father’s house. As the Messiah, he deeply felt his “zeal” for the house of God (v. 17). He had to express that zeal regardless of the risk.
As you cultivate your leadership skills, don’t be afraid to take a calculated risk. And don’t fear failure. Both are back doors to success.
John 2:12 After this he went down to Capernaum, with his mother and his brothers and his disciples, and they stayed there for a few days. 13 The Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 In the temple he found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers sitting there. 15 And making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. 16 And he told those who sold the pigeons, “Take these things away; do not make my Father’s house a house of trade.” 17 His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.” 18 So the Jews said to him, “What sign do you show us for doing these things?” 19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20 The Jews then said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?” 21 But he was speaking about the temple of his body. 22 When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the Scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.