Thursday, July 10, 2014

Success is Better With a Successor

In the movie Blade Runner, the dying replicant Roy Batty introspectively makes the speech during a rain downpour, moments before his own death.

“I've... seen things you people wouldn't believe... Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those... moments... will be lost in time, like [small cough] tears... in... rain. Time... to die...”

It is a certainty that you will die. All your experience; all your knowledge; all your memories; all the skills you possess will be lost; or can there be a different outcome?

2nd Kings 20:1

In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz came to him, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Set thine house in order; for thou shalt die, and not live.

Don’t wait until you are sick unto death to set your house in order.

Success is better with a successor.

It starts when you are in school. When I was taking engineering courses, I learned if I helped my classmates, I was ultimately helping myself. If I understood how to explain the solution to a problem to another student, I really understood how to solve that problem. Helping the competition helped my Grade Point Ratio. Isn’t that interesting?

When I worked as the night superintendent at a saw chain factory, I made it a point to learn from anyone who would teach me their skills. I learned to run (not very well in some cases) almost every machine in the factory. To the best of my abilities, I shared my knowledge with my department supervisors. It has been written that if you are in a position of authority, you should prepare at least two employees who will be ready to take your place if you are promoted, retire, or leave for a better job. I wouldn’t limit that principle to a position of authority. Share what you know with your coworkers. It may seem counterintuitive, but in due course you will be rewarded.

Proverbs 13:22

A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children's children: and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just.

I think I understand why this proverb speaks of a good man preparing for the needs of his grandchildren. In biblical times family was everything. We are told that even a sinner knows how to give good things to his children. A good man is looking to see the future take root in the present. He will leave blessings in this world that will outlive his children.

There is a happy ending to this particular story. The LORD heard the prayers of this good man, giving him another 15 years to prepare his legacy. In the movie, Roy Batty asked his maker, the owner of the Tyrell Corporation, for more time. He wasn’t so lucky.

2nd Kings 20: 2-6

Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the LORD, “Remember, LORD, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.

Before Isaiah had left the middle court, the word of the LORD came to him: “Go back and tell Hezekiah, the ruler of my people, ‘This is what the LORD, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you. On the third day from now you will go up to the temple of the LORD. I will add fifteen years to your life.

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