Home Pastors Pastor Blogs 7 Leadership Lessons from the Gambler, Kenny Rogers

7 Leadership Lessons from the Gambler, Kenny Rogers

Kenny Rogers made a song famous a few (quite a few) years ago called The Gambler. Perhaps you remember it. If not, check it out HERE. Beyond a catchy tune, the song tells a story of a young man learning as he watched a season gambler.

I heard it recently and thought there were some good leadership lessons in the song. Some I’ve learned by experience…the hard, but valuable kind of lessons.

Here are 7 leadership lessons from the Gambler:

You got to know when to hold ‘em – There are sometimes in leadership when you know you’re right, even when everyone else thinks you’re wrong. In those times, follow your heart, your gut, and the Holy Spirit of God. And, remember, God has not given us a spirit of fear.

Know when to fold ‘em – You can’t win every battle. I’ve learned this one the hard way. Sometimes you are better to forfeit your right to control a minor issue so you retain your right to control a major issue. Don’t lose your leadership credibility over an issue of little lasting consequence.

Know when to walk away – There are better people on the team than me to make certain decisions. Recently there was a situation where I was asked to make the final call, but what didn’t make sense to me is I know little about the subject. I walked away, giving over the decision to others on the team.

Know when to run – There are times to run away from something and times to run to something. When it comes to issues, such as moral improprieties, get away from them as fast as you can. Avoid the appearance of evil. On issues where you know God has clearly called you to something, run to it fast, by faith, regardless of your fears or reservations.

You never count your money when you’re sittin’ at the table – You do the best you can to plan for a Sunday, an event, or a project. Give it everything you’ve got. Then don’t worry when you get there if the crowd is less than expected. Deliver everything you planned to deliver if the crowd was twice or four times the size.

There’ll be time enough for countin’ when the dealing’s done – There is a time to evaluate. You should always ask what you could have done better. Never settle on a plateau, but keep getting better. The gambler always did. (You know he practiced that poker face in front of a mirror.)

Knowin’ what to throw away and knowing what to keep – Leadership includes a lot of balance. You have to discern good from bad, better from best. You have to choose the right leader for the right position. You have to judge timing for change and know when to spur momentum. It’s often the weighing of options. It often seems “every hands a winner and every hands a loser”.

What lessons have you learned in leadership that you could share with my readers?

This comment is for legalists in my life: Please understand I’m not endorsing gambling, just using it as a backdrop for a post on leadership. Love ya!