Figure it Out

In his talk at the Willow Creek Leadership Summit, Bill Hybels said that main thing you are looking for when developing leaders is resourcefulness. You want to see what potential leaders will do when they don’t know what to do.

Bill went on to tell a story about how he learned to be resourceful. He was 11 years old and he wanted to learn how to ski. When he told his dad this, his dad took him to a local bus station. As they arrived at the station, Bill’s dad told him to go to Aspen, CO. As Bill was getting out of the car, he looked at his dad and said, “Dad, where is Colorado? How do I get there?”

His dad looked at him and said, “Figure it out Bill and don’t call me.

Bill said that was the beginning of his training ground as a leader. While Bill does not recommend this as a way to train potential leaders and said he had to have a lot of counseling because of it, he does think there is a vital lesson in his story.

So often in life and leadership, you will not know what to do and you will be forced to figure it out. Therefore, one of the greatest qualities we can develop is the ability to figure it out.

  • Not sure how to sell? Figure it out.
  • Not sure what it takes to get into that college? Figure it out.
  • Not sure how to manage your money? Figure it out.
  • Not sure how to have a great marriage? Figure it out.
  • Not sure how to raise money? Figure it out.
  • Not sure how to hire and fire people? Figure it out.
  • Not sure how to start a business? Figure it out.

When I say figure it out, I don’t mean wing it and see what happens. I mean that you need to find the resources necessary to figure out whatever you’re trying to do. In today’s world, there is no reason we can’t figure something out! We have more resources available to us then we could use in a lifetime.

How can you figure it out? Unlike Bill’s dad who told him not to call him, we have an entire world at our finger tips willing to help us figure it out. Here are some examples:

  • Read a book
  • Google it
  • Watch a how-to video on YouTube
  • Call other organizations who are doing it
  • Find mentors in the area you’re trying to figure out
  • Call someone who went to that school and ask them what it took to get in
  • Get counseling
  • Go to seminars and conferences

What areas of life do you feel stuck in because you don’t know what to do?

When you find yourself in that position, it’s time to learn to be resourceful and to figure it out. You may not be able to have 100% of the information you would like to make a decision, but you can resource yourself enough to be confident that you’re going to do the right thing.

I challenge you to develop the ability of figuring it out and see what it does for your life. I think you’ll be surprised how far this ability will take you!


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