Monday, July 07, 2008

Thoughts From Reed Sutton

I am currently reading a book. I know that if my High School English teacher heard that, she would have a heart attack. If you see her, please save Mrs. Houseman’s life and don’t share with her that I actually picked one up. In truth, I initially listened to the book. I just spent the last weekend in St. Louis visiting family and on the way back I listened to a book on Audio CD entitled, “The 17 Essential Qualities of a Team Player” by John C. Maxwell. I am currently re-reading it so that I can take good notes on it. I am the Varsity Girl’s Basketball Coach at Westbury Christian and I work with Coach Hawley to try to make the Lady Wildcats the best that they can be. I made this book a required summer reading for our players after being inspired to do so by our Boy’s Basketball Coach and Athletic Director, Russell Carr. While taking notes, I was especially intrigued by one of the qualities that Maxwell mentions in his book. It is Quality #8, being an “Enlarger”. This is the quality of making your team better because you helped add value to the team. “Your team” could be defined as your work, a sports team, your family, your church, your community, or any of the hundreds of other “teams” that you are a part of. Over the past few weeks of the NBA Finals between the Los Angeles Lakers and The Boston Celtics, it was not uncommon to hear radio and television commentators compare Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan. They were trying to create hype over who the better player was. Every time I heard that conversation come up, it ended with the unarguable contention that MJ “made his teammates better” to a greater degree (more championships) than Kobe. Jordan was an Enlarger. The same could be said about former Celtic great Bill Russell when compared to Wilt Chamberlain. There are few compliments that I could hear in my life that would be greater than “He was a great teammate”. We all would love to receive that type of affirmation. In the book of Philippians, Paul and Timothy begin their letter by sharing with the church in Philippi that they were Enlargers. This is evidenced in chapter one and verses 3 through 6: “I thank God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus”. The individual members of the church in Philippi obviously had an enlarging effect on Paul and Timothy in their work. In Maxwell’s book, he makes the statement that, “People will always move toward anyone who increases them and away from others who devalue them”. He writes that if you want to be an Enlarger then, believe in others before they believe in you…serve others before they serve you…add value to others before they add value to you. In Exodus 17:8-13, Aaron and Hur were Enlargers by holding the arms of Moses up so that Joshua and the Israelite army could win their battle with the Amalekites in the manner that God had instructed. Mrs. Houseman was an Enlarger, because I still remember her saying, “It is amazing what is learned when you drop everything and read…Reed”

Quote of the Day:
“The most important measure of how good a game I played was how much better I made my teammates play.”
-- Bill Russell

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