Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Good Is the Enemy of Great

I haven't posted for a while, there's been a ton of stuff going on in my life and my leadership. One of those things has been an opportunity to coach the Latrobe varsity soccer team. The coach quit while I was on vacation. I was immediately interested - the same opportunity was presented to me at the end of last season after the long time coach quit because his wife was having their first baby.

As I looked at this opportunity I saw it as a good way to build relationships with people outside of Charter Oak Church. It was a good way for me to add value into teenage boys - to teach them integrity and character from someone who seeks to live into it from the Jesus way. I came up with a ton of good reasons to coach. I almost had myself convinced that I was supposed to do it. But all the reasons were only good reasons. As Jim Collins writes - good is the enemy of great.

After a more wrestling about a decision than I have ever done I came to realize that if I were to coach soccer then my family and my leadership at Charter Oak Church would be lessened for the season. So I decided not to coach. Below is the letter that I wrote to the athletic director explaining my decision.


I wanted to get back to you as soon as I could about the opportunity to coach the boys' varsity soccer team at Latrobe. As I shared with you I needed to talk to my board, staff, and family about this before I made a decision. I have never wrestled about a decision like I have about this one. I would love to coach for Latrobe, and I know I could do it. However, I have a greater responsibility to my family and my church, so I will not be able to apply for the coaching position. I know my family would not get the fullness of my heart for the next 10 plus weeks. There is no one more important to me than my wife and kids.

Since I have a new job, I really don't know the full scope of leading this place well. The fall is the busiest time of the year for us and I just don't know what affect coaching would have on my ability to lead with integrity. I am not ruling out coaching in the future, my heart is in soccer. Right now I know I will not be able to love my family, lead my church, and coach the boys' soccer team at the highest level. I would dishonor all three if I did. It pains me incredibly to say no to you.

I am still willing to help run practices next week if you still need me to do so. If you don't want me there, I will understand. Let me know what capacity, if any, you would like me to have next week with practices.

Chris Whitehead


Anonymous said...

Before I finished reading this posting, I was screaming at my computer screen... "CHRIS, I thought about it and PURPOSELY did not send you this job posting! YOU WERE DOING SO WELL AT CREATING MARGIN IN YOUR LIFE!!!"... and then I continued reading... and am so proud of you. You did the right thing, and I know how hard it was for you. God bless you.

From one of your biggest fans, a teacher in Latrobe...

Chris Whitehead said...