Stretch…Really Stretch


July 24, 2017 by
Stretch…Really Stretch

In May of 2010, I was on the way home from delivering the executive presentation to wrap up Springhead’s first project — a global business and technology strategy for a $16 Billion manufacturing company. I had the consultant’s “high” after successfully closing out the engagement when I received a life-changing call.

“Hey Greg. We are in Haiti leading disaster relief efforts and we need your help.”

Earthquake Destruction in Haiti

Earthquake Destruction in Haiti

My first thought was: The need is so great with many Haitians lives hanging in the balance. I have to go help!  That thought was immediately followed by another: I’m a business/technology strategy guy. What could I possibly do to help?!

My first thought won out; I was on a plane to Haiti four days later. If the task at hand wasn’t difficult enough, we had to deal with corrupt government officials, food and water safety issues, and transportation/logistics nightmares…not to mention the language and cultural barriers. Did I mention the brutal heat?!

During our six weeks in Haiti, our team was able to provide work and purpose to the several hundred Haitians we hired as they removed rubble and built shelters in their towns and villages…resulting in over 600 families having a home to lay their heads. This work was life-changing:

  • For the men and women we employed, they had work for the first time in years. They had purpose and a sense of accomplishment. They had hope.
  • For the families that received a shelter, they had protection from the elements. They had a place to call home. They had peace.
  • For me, the experience brought the lowest of valleys as I witnessed suffering and a suffocating lack of hope. It also brought the mountaintops as lives were transformed and ministry took root.

Inside a family's shelter

Inside a family’s shelter.

Good for you, but why should I stretch myself?

I’ve learned to seek out opportunities that will stretch me. The bigger and more difficult, the better! When you choose to do the same, you will find that:

  1. You will learn — You learn how to apply your skills, talents, and abilities across multiple areas in your life. You find that lessons learned in one area can be applied in many different ways.
  2. You will grow — Things that you once felt were impossible or were afraid to do will become part of your everyday skill set.
  3. You will be more confident — When you break through your limits, you will have a tremendous sense of accomplishment and understand that you are capable of achieving so much more than you ever thought possible.
  4. You will lead others — You will learn to stretch those that you lead. You will become a better leader as you provide opportunities for your people to learn and grow.

So, what about you? Are you stretching, I mean really stretching yourself and those around you? How are you using your skills, talents and abilities to make an impact in our world?