15 Reasons I Don’t Need To Do It The Way It Has Always Been Done Before And Neither Should You

Mark Driscoll says in his book Doctrine, “They (biblical principles) require church leaders to use timely biblical methods that are changing depending on our culture…Paul demonstrated this by not changing his doctrine or principles but often changing his methods, depending on his audience. (I Cor 9:19-23)”

One of the constant challenges I have as a church leader is attempting to get other leaders to see the same biblical truths through a different lens and utilize different methods.  That is why I resonate so much with Pulaski Academy head coach Kevin Kelley.

As shown in the video above, Coach Kelley believes you should never punt or attempt field goals.  He also believes in only doing onside kicks.  Though HIGHLY unconventional, this school located in Little Rock, AR has won three state championships in the last 10 years.

As I watched the video above, I gleaned 15 Reasons I Don’t Need To Do It The Way It Has Always Been Done Before And Neither Should You.  Let’s face facts.  You cannot argue with Coach Kelley’s results.

  1. I Don’t Need To Do It The Way It Has Always Been Done Before Because I Have A Different Philosophy – Leadership is about taking people to a place they currently are not.  Leaders move their teams from Point A to Point B.  Therefore, as a leader I must always be going new places, doing new things and thinking differently.  Coach Kelley says, “It is a philosophy and a strategy.”
  2. I Don’t Need To Do It The Way It Has Always Been Done Before Because The Current Situation Calls For Something Different – Necessity is the mother of invention.  Leaders often discover more effective methods simply because they have to.  The current situation demands it.  Coach Kelley noted, “It has not been by design.”
  3. I Don’t Need To Do It The Way It Has Always Been Done Before Because I Am Continually Learning – Smart leaders are always learning new truths from different disciplines.  Coach Kelley learned from the academic community.  “I saw a 15-minute video of a Harvard professor,” he said.
  4. I Don’t Need To Do It The Way It Has Always Been Done Before Because I’ve Done My Research – The Harvard professor studied over 2,000 games over 3-year period.
  5. I Don’t Need To Do It The Way It Has Always Been Done Before Because I Asked “Why” – Coach Kelley did something most leaders are afraid to do.  He asked the right question.  He asked “why”.  He pointed out, “I started asking and had our coaches asking ‘Why’ about everything in our program.”
  6. I Don’t Need To Do It The Way It Has Always Been Done Before Because Of Peer Pressure – Coach Kelley finally acknowledged, “Why are we really punting?  Because everyone else does on 4th down.”
  7. I Don’t Need To Do It The Way It Has Always Been Done Before Because The Risk Is Not All That Great – After studying the numbers, Coach Kelley discovered the risk of failure for unconventional thinking is almost the same as conventional thinking.  If it is 4th and 7 on your own 5 yard-line and you fail to make a first down, the opposing team will get a touchdown 92% of the time.  If you punt and the opposing team gets the ball on your 40 yard-line, they will still score a touchdown 77% of the time.  Therefore, punting almost assures the other team points.  However, Pulaski has a 50% 4th down conversion rate to offset the 15% risk.
  8. I Don’t Need To Do It The Way It Has Always Been Done Before Because I’ve Had To Be Resourceful Before - Creativity and resourcefulness are often birthed in humble beginnings.  Coach Kelley grew up in such impoverished conditions they sometimes lacked food.  He said, “When one of your basic needs in life gets taken away from you, you learn to get really creative.”  Give me scrappy, smart and somewhat desperate leaders and teammates any day of the week.
  9. I Don’t Need To Do It The Way It Has Always Been Done Before Because I Think Differently Than Others – Leaders are not average individuals.  They think differently.  Stop denying it.  Embrace it.  Coach Kelley said, “I started out as an accountant.  I didn’t read football books…that makes you think a little bit differently”
  10. I Don’t Need To Do It The Way It Has Always Been Done Before Because I Can Create Opportunity For Others While Limiting Mistakes -  Effective leaders create opportunity for those they serve.  Coach Kelley says, “You can tell who wins the game 75% of the time just by looking at turnovers…I count onside kicks as turnovers.”
  11. I Don’t Need To Do It The Way It Has Always Been Done Before Because I Want To Make A Positive Change – Leaders make a difference.  Regular kick-offs resulted in the opposing team getting the ball on their own 33 yard line.  Failed onside kicks resulted in the opposing team getting the ball on their own 47 yard line.  For a 14-yard risk,  Pulaski recovered the ball 20% of the time.  “One onside kick is a game changer,” says Coach Kelly.
  12. I Don’t Need To Do It The Way It Has Always Been Done Before Because I’m Looking For An Advantage – The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is just a little extra.  Coach Kelley says, “All we’re doing is getting a 3% advantage by onside kicking, a 2% advantage by not punting on this down, all those add up.  Maybe we got a 15% better chance of winning than if we would have played it straight up.”
  13. I Don’t Need To Do It The Way It Has Always Been Done Before Because Our Church Loves Doing It Differently – Leaders understand people thrive in creative environments.  We love going to churches where you don’t know what God is going to do next.  Coach Kelley proudly says, “Kids love it.  They just love my kind of football.”
  14. I Don’t Need To Do It The Way It Has Always Been Done Before Because I Will Not Be Reduced To A Level Of Mediocrity - People will attempt to thwart creativity simply because they do not understand it or it moves them out of there comfort zone.  Therefore, rather than rising to your level, they will attempt to lower you to theirs.  Do not be reduced to a level of mediocrity.  Coach Kelley admits, “The teams we beat call it ‘gadgety.’  They get that from a style of football that’s different.”
  15. I Don’t Need To Do It The Way It Has Always Been Done Before Because I Want To Be More Successful – In conclusion, Coach Kelley reminds all leaders, “There are those kind of people who want to be different because they just want to be different.  And there are those kind of people who want to be different because they’re looking for something to help them be more successful.”

I want to be more successful.  Do you?  Which of the 15 lessons above challenged you the most?

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  1. Doing Things a New Way - December 19, 2013

    […] always been done (based on a video featuring Kevin Kelley of the Pulaski Academy).  Included on the list […]

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