Are you wasting resources?

Have you ever seen anyone watering their lawn in the pouring rain?  I did yesterday. Less than a mile from my home is the headquarters for a global non-profit.  And yesterday it was pouring.  Not just raining but pouring water where you didn't want to walk from your front door to your car ten feet away because you're going to be soaked.  And when I passed by the headquarters for this non-profit I noticed the craziest thing; all the sprinklers were on across this campus of buildings!

Non-profit work has made me a pretty frugal person so my first thought was, "What a waste of resources."  As I got further down the road I started to think back across my career and realized there were seasons I let the same thing happen.

Have you?

Too often we see any kind of issue in our work or life as a "revenue" deficiency.  "There simply isn't enough coming in."  "I don't have enough time to do it all."  "We lack the resources to go there."

In other words, "This lack of something is keeping me or us from what I or we need."  But often we haven't taken a close inventory to how we are spending our resources.  Resources like time, energy, finances, emotions, and relationships.  You might not see it but you could be watering the lawn in the rain.

We are most likely to behave this way because of a previous structure.  "This is how it's been."  "This is how we have always operated."  "We are known to be this so we better act like it."  And of course the sprinklers are set to go on, it was just August in Missouri and everyone is trying to resurrect their lawns.  It looks like a proactive system until the one day it rains it becomes a massive waste of resources.

The reason it might feel like something is lacking could be because we are expending resources that we no longer abundantly have. So if you are facing a crises in some area of your work or life the first place to look is inside for a solution instead of looking for more outside resources to save you.  Asking questions like:

1.  Could we do this more efficiently?

2.  Are we doing something based on history and reputation instead of current resources?

3.  Are we operating in a way that assumes we will always have this one specific resource?

4.  Am I as aware of what is going out as much as I am what's coming in? (i.e finances, emotions, relational equity, etc...)

A dangerous path for a leader is to constantly staying on the path for "more" (See Jim Collins book How the Mighty Fall).  Once in a while its good to stop and evaluate what you have and make sure you're not wasting valuable resources.  Make sure you aren't watering the lawn in the rain!