Lessons From An Electric Fence

by | Mar 21, 2012 | Church Leadership

I grew up with electric fences and have recently put one in to allow our goats a larger grazing area.

Here are three life lessons – two positive and one negative – from an electric fence.

1. It always hurts less to grab an electric fence firmly than to brush against it.  Every farm boy has to touch a fence to see if they can do it.   We used to have contests to see who could hang on the longest—we weren’t too smart.

The lesson is:  If you are going after something, grab it with all you’ve got.  The way to really get shocked is to timidly brush up against something.  Embrace your next challenge wholeheartedly.  If you timidly reach out to it, you may get zapped pretty hard.

2. When an animal approaches an electric fence, if it gets shocked in front of its ears it will back up and stay inside.  If it gets shocked behind the ears, it will go forward through the fence and ruin everything.

The lesson is:  Allow yourself to be shocked early by temptation and back away from it.  Once a temptation gets below your ears (brain) and gets to your heart (emotions) it’s too late.   Proverbs  7:21-22:  She persuaded him with persuasive words; with her smooth talk she compelled him. 22 Suddenly he went after her like an ox that goes to the slaughter, like a stag prancing into a trapper’s snare .

(from The NET Bible®, Copyright © 1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C., Dallas, Texas, www.bible.org. All rights reserved. Used by permission.)

3. Once a goat (not the sharpest knife in the drawer) gets zapped, they stay away from the fence.

Lesson:  Be smarter than a goat!  When you get burned by temptation once, make every effort to stay away from it.  It won’t be any better the second time!

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Marcus is an 18-year veteran in leadership and organizational coaching. He has coached hundreds of leaders and entrepreneurs — motivating and mentoring CEOs, presidents, and business owners to increase their leadership impact and grow profitability through peer-to-peer collaboration and one-to-one coaching. Marcus teaches Vision Casting for Hope International University, is certified in Life Planning and Strategic Planning through the Paterson Center, and coaches many leaders in the for-profit and non-profit arena. He is the co-author of “Better Together: Networks and Church Planting” and “Church Planting from the Ground Up.” Both works are applicable in non-profit and for-profit sectors and focus on building effective, reproducible and scalable processes and teams. He is currently the Northern California of Sacramento Chair of Convene™. In his spare time, Marcus enjoys woodworking, fly fishing, and marathon running.