Friday, May 18, 2007

How Many Mikes?

As a young boy it was always fun to watch The Ed Sullivan Show on TV especially when the Chinese Acrobats were displaying their plate spinning agility. The more noble-minded viewer may have been amazed at how one guy could keep 20 different plates spinning on thin poles, but not me. I was just waiting for the whole thing to come crashing down. It was inevitable he would make a mistake. (actually, these guys were quite good)

There were two things that reminded me of the famous plate spinners from China recently. The first was Steve Murrell’s recent blog “
Leadership is…Getting Out of the Way” The other was a web site I stumbled upon that would tell how many people in the US had the same name as you or I.

So, how many of “me” are there in the US? According to the site there are 2,192 people in the US with the name “Michael Watkins”. I also checked the names of a few of my friends, and the site said that there were none of them in the US. Therefore, you might not really exist.

Back to leadership: Not only was I not surprised when the acrobats broke a few plates, but advanced alien civilizations viewing in on satellite were probably wondering, “You know, if the earthlings were as advanced as they thought, they might get some help spinning those plates. Less would be dropped!” I also think that they had an affinity for spinning plates, probably something to do with their public transportation.

Anyway, and let me try to get back on track, the point of developing leaders is not to develop the one-man-show because sooner or later he or she will drop the plate, the ball or worse. It is only a matter of time. The more people we train to lead in the ordinary areas of life the more we will get accomplished for God’s kingdom and the less high-profile plate droppings we will have.

Here are a few insights that I gained from the silly website:

  • Some leaders act as if there is only one of them. Sorry, but there are more, so we are not as important as we think.
  • I need to develop other “me’s”. This is better understood as “developing others” as opposed to only developing myself.
  • Who thinks up these sites?

The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. 2 Tim 2:2


Anonymous said...

Hey Mike, I dont think there is anyone else on the planet with my name, Wolfgang Eckleben, so I must be really unique :)

Mike Watkins said...

Yes Wolfi, you are a singularity. I also found out there was only one Jim Laffoon in the US, but I think that we already knew that :-) There are 18 Steve Murrells in the US but many more in Manila, and I am quite sure there are many of you in the London church. I enjoyed your site and look forward to more posts.