“Behold, I make all things new.”

Jesus of Nazareth

I led a business offsite a week ago.  It was for a very interesting two person partnership.  One is in his sixties.  He is creative, passionate, and has built an incredible reputation for craftsmanship over the decades.  He is in that later stage of his career where he is wanting to establish some things, position himself, and better offer back to the generations behind him.  He wants his work to matter and impact the lives of as many people as possible.

The other is twenty-five.  He is strong, passionate, and committed.  He possesses an uncharacteristic maturity, humility, and selflessness for a man of his age.  He doesn’t possess the craftsmanship or wisdom of experience of his partner, but he is an eager student and has more of the relational and communication skills necessary to help grow a business.  He loves the concept of redemption and sees their work as the ultimate canvas to paint that story.

Their partnership, Oakwrites, is founded on the idea of redemptive stories and is based on the enormous respect and deference they share for one another.  They both say that their lives are being changed by the other.  And they understand an important thing that all partners should believe:

The craftsman can’t get to where he wants to go without the young man. The young man can’t get to where he wants to go without the craftsman.

If every leadership team or partnership really believed that the others were essential to their future success, it would be a real-game changer.  It would make their desired future much more inevitable.

The older craftsman has a healthy suspicion of business, strategic planning, and organizational structure.  But to his credit, he took to the process with passion and enthusiasm.  We worked on culture (values, purpose, and organizational health), created a vision statement, and then worked on the strategic (focus areas, goals, strategic initiatives, and action steps).  We covered a lot of ground in a short period of time, but by the end of the day, the craftsman was able to say some pretty astounding things.

  • The unclear future is now very clear.
  • Dreams he had forgotten and given up on believing, are possible.
  • The path to the newly imagined future is laid out right in front of him.

There is a lot of work to do, but it is the right work in the right direction to achieve the future they collectively desire.

One of the more interesting discoveries of the retreat was the young man’s thoughts on overcoming a lack of confidence.  He was viewed and celebrated by others for his leadership potential his entire life, but never really believed it was true until the last few years.  Leaving home for college and then ministry in Spain, his confidence in his true identity was finally awakened.  It is growing through this partnership.  His early years were spent in a home with a very overbearing, controlling, and legalistic father.  Despite the fact that his father was under a radical process of restoration during the boy’s teenage years, he still bore the marks of his father’s broken leadership.

The young man now talks about the man his father used to be and the very different man he is now.  The redemption of the father’s life and redemption of the son’s confidence has become one of the most essential building blocks for this future partnership.   For the young man is my son and the father (and their business coach), is me.  Their entire business philosophy is built on the redemptive story of taking discarded trees that are victims of oak wilt and creating beautiful timber frame homes, furniture, and other home goods from them.  Making all things new.  Just like the father.  Just like the son.

Is the future clearly laid out for you?

Are you roped up with the essential partners or leadership team to make your intended future a reality?

Do you have a clear vision and a strategic plan to get you there?

What kind of redemptive story still needs to be written?