So, I lead an army of creative people at Sandals Church in Southern California. We try our best to communicate through art, music and other forms of media.
This morning, we had a video/lights/audio/other awesome stuff presentation to help communicate the awesomeness of God in creation. We had numerous artists, musicians, lighting and audio techs who created an intense art moment that called upon many separate pieces of machinery to work in concert with a live narrator and the band.
As the time came to make it happen, our anxiety and excitement grew. Our director gave the call to go live…
Our production manager initiated the start sequence with the push of a button…
button. button. button. button.
I’m one of those ‘every problem presents an opportunity’ types. So much so, that I’m writing this in faith before we’ve had the second chance to execute this awesome experience. But I’ll let you know what’s buzzin my head now…
It’s nothing personal.
I immediately grabbed the two people that I trust these moments with. While I was clearly agitated and while I expressed my concern over our tech failure, I made the point to each of them that I understand it’s just that. A tech failure. They aren’t failures. They are artists and leaders. But our expectations for excellence and tech processes are there for a reason. To try and avoid what we’ve run into today.
Take it on the chin.
While we know it’s a hardware issue, we take responsibility for it. It’d be easy to tell everyone, “The computers suck. So it failed.” Instead, we took a punch, got rocked, and owned up to it. “Our creativity outgrew our technology. We pushed it too far, but we’ll figure it out. Sorry ‘bout that.” We did that. It was on us. We’ll fix it.
Do the tough stuff.
The initial question after we dropped the ball first service was “Are we gonna cancel it for the rest of the services?” It would’ve been easier to. Nobody would’ve missed it. Instead, we tested it again, the guys and gals in the back tweaked one of these and re-allocated one of those and went through our processes and (I’m writing this during second service now) it worked amazingly.
Don’t be afraid of failure, but fear that part of you that would rather not fail. It’ll make your life a miserable, boring mess of compromise and retreat. You can do it, but sometimes you have to fail first.
Thanks to all the great people who made it happen this morning. I love failing and succeeding with each of you!!!