One afternoon a man named John walked into a bank to finalize a business transaction. The teller told him that the officer he needed to see wasn’t in _ that he would have to come back the next day. John said OK and asked the teller to validate his parking ticket. The teller informed him that, according to bank policy, she couldn’t validate his parking ticket because he had not completed a financial transaction.

John asked for an exception since he had come to the bank intending to do business. He wasn’t able to because the appropriate officer wasn’t in. The teller didn’t budge. She said, “I’m sorry; that’s our policy. Rules are rules.”

So John decided to make a business transaction: he closed his account. John’s last name was Akers _ John Akers was the chairman of IBM _ the account he closed had 1.5 million dollars in it. Since that qualified as a financial transaction the teller was required to validate the parking ticket _ which she did.

Now I don’t know if it’s true or another email legend, but it has a valuable lesson:

  1. Training is learning the rules.
  2. Experience is learning the exceptions.
  3. Leadership is knowing when to apply rules and when to make an exception.

As Solomon said, “Every prudent man acts out of knowledge.” (Proverbs 13:16) And James adds this, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all…” (James 1:5)

Let’s become so grounded in God’s word that we will clearly see in every situation we face in life how to accurately apply truth in wisdom and righteousness.


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