Monday, August 20, 2012

Contender or Pretender?

I was sitting in barber's chair watching ESPN baseball scores last week & saw teams that were hot in the 1st part of the season (including my beloved Mets) but have now faded as reality has settled in. They appeared to be contenders, but their lack of depth, immaturity, and dearth of talent has been exposed. They were able to fake it for a while, but didn't have what was necessary to make it all the way through.

The same can be said about leaders. People can begin with a great personality and a powerful sounding vision that motivates and inspires. The passing of time however will reveal a lack of work ethic, an inability to make decisions, and flaws in character. These are especially highlighted in trials, tension, and conflict and will doom a team's hope for success.

Remaining a contender as a leader is never accidental, but requires a dedication to character development and humble submission to God's authority. It must be a personal daily focus of making the necessary adjustments to ensure long-lasting leadership.


  1. Dear Coach Portwood,
    Just wanted to tell you that your post are truly inspiring especially this one. Matter of fact it was the first post of yours I have ever read but it hit me the most. It made me take a self evauation and I had to ask myself that question. And I have to honestly say i was not on the contender side. I don't wanna be a pretender anymore! Thru out the past couple of years i haven't lost touch with God,but I know I haven't been given him my all. I cannot be a contender without God being my center. I wanna say thank you for relighting my fire and passion for life. Ive been thru alot and sometimes would doubt that had what it takes to get thru. On the outside it seemed as if everything was fine to others, but on the inside I was not at all. Pretending. It takes alot to do that,lol. Often friends and family come to me for advice and motivation,I would have plenty of it. Only not for myself. All the while my life was out of order ,It was like I could help everybody but myself and that is an awful feeling. As I pray and ask God for the strength and courage to become the Contender I know I am, I also ask that you pray for me also. The Lord has used you to reach others in many ways and once again you have helped me. Before it with taping ankles and healing pulled hamstrings,lol now it's inspiring me to live up to my full potential and be a CONTENDER!! Hopefully one day we can conversate once again face to face not about just current events but also about God Awsome Grace!!!!God Bless you "Coach"!!!

    1. I never cease to be amazed at how God works through us to reach & encourage each other. It's been an awesome journey of His work in my life & incredible opportunities to share with other people too. Glad to hear how God is working so hard in your life too--thanks for sharing!