Hand Me Another Brick Leadership Series: The Four Cures of Discouragement (Part 2)

Dear Visionary Leader,

In the late 19th century, there was an Italian economist named Pareto, who became the namesake for something called the Pareto Principle. And here’s the Pareto Principle in a nutshell: 20% of what you do produces 80% of the results.

Many times in our lives and ministries, we’re dealing with things that really don’t matter. We’re dealing with the rubbish rather than the stones.

We will limit ourselves if we believe we can do both: handle the rubbish and the stones. Every visionary leader, at some point or another, has to learn to prioritize what he or she is best equipped to do, and let others take care of the “rubbish.” In the building or rebuilding of our walls, we have to invest our time in those things that give us the biggest return.

As a leader, there are important things that only you can do with the highest quality-things that will also bring the highest return on your time, talent and treasure. Make of these significant building stones. List them out. Then arrange them in the order that will bring greatest success.

After you have sequenced them for success, take the first step to lift the first stone to further build your wall of ministry. For some stones, you will need to make a short list of elements required to execute with excellence. As you go through this process, life will become simpler, your time will be saved, and your outcomes will multiply greatly in the days ahead.

Continued In Visionary Coaching Below.


During our last coaching session, we discussed at length the first cure for discouragement. We focused on the physical cure: renew our strength. Here is the second cure:

An Organizational Cure: Rethink Our Strategy (Neh. 4:13-14)

In the Book of Nehemiah, everyone was saying, “It can’t be done.” The enemy was saying, “We’re going to kill you.” Even friends were saying, “You better stop, or you’re going to get yourselves killed.”

To these statements, Nehemiah responded, “Therefore set I in the lower places behind the wall, and on the higher places, I even set the people after their families with their swords, their spears, and their bows. And I looked, and rose up, and said unto the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, Be not afraid of them: remember the LORD” (Nehemiah 4:13). And then, he got the whole project reorganized. In essence, he said, “Evidently, we’re doing this the wrong way. We need to make a change.”

If you are discouraged in a task, it may not be that you’re doing the wrong thing. It may be that you’re doing the right thing in the wrong way, and you simply need to rethink your strategy.

Consider building “think-time” into your daily schedule. If you’re discouraged, set aside an hour or two to think through the whole project. Determine what is the rubbish, and figure out where the stones are that you need to build with going forward.

Nehemiah didn’t give up the goal; he just refocused. Do you have a God-given goal? Is it clear? When was the last time you stopped to sit down-not only to renew your strength, but to rethink your strategy?

I want to challenge you to spend some time alone. Personally, I find my solitude and think-time when I’m walking along the ocean on the beach, praying, problem-solving and planning. I write down those items that I think I ought to do, and I refocus.

Make time to rethink your strategy. It’s one of the great cures for discouragement.

Until The Last Person Has Heard,

Dr. James. O. Davis
Global Church Network
Cochair / Global Networking