realms of practicability

I’ve been doing some writing on the idea of backup plans, and along the way, I’ve also been reading a book about the admirals who led the Navy during WWII, oddly enough called The Admirals by Walter R. Borneman. For the most part, the names Leahy, King, Nimitz and Halsey are not well known to the history of WWII, yet they were instrumental in helping bring an end to hostilities in the Pacific from December 1941 through August 1945.

Navy_binoculars.jpgI can’t even imagine the kind of leadership that was required to make the right decision, knowing that people’s lives were at stake. It makes the decisions I need to make each day seem pretty insignificant.

Anyway, Chester W Nimitz was the commander in chief of all air, sea and ground forces in the Pacific area starting immediately after the attack on Pearl Harbor, and he had quite a few leadership qualities that I really admire. One of them involved figuring out if a plan was worth executing. Check this out:

“Is the proposed operation likely to succeed? What might the consequences of failure be? Is it in the realm of practicability in terms of material and supplies?”

I love these questions. How sure are we that our plan will work? If it doesn’t work, what’s the worst that could happen? How many resources can I devote to minimizing the risk of failure?

Asking these questions really helps tweak out whether the original idea is any good in the first place. It also helps bring a backup plan into view, then asking if its going to be worth it.

Live production involves the risks of human error and/or equipment failure. We can’t eliminate every risk. It is not possible to avoid every possible failure. There isn’t enough money or people to solve every problem.

So how can we use these questions to make the best decisions for our services and our church, given the resources at our disposal?


photo by: wave-rider