Thursday, May 28, 2009

The State of the Mariners, Jack Zduriencik's Leadership, and my Vocational Life

Jack Zduriencik, Seattle Mariners General Manager can evaluate talent and has a plan that will not bankrupt the organization. He is building the team based on pitching and defense, and will eventually develop a few power hitters or find one in the right place. He's already finding some low-risk, high reward hitters (see Russell Branyan), just not enough at this point to carry the club this season.

I admire Zduriencik on many levels, because he has made the Mariners a much more interesting team to follow in terms of grit, effort, strategy, player development and acquisition. He also exudes the qualities of a leader who can develop a plan that is clear about the ends and flexible about the means, while developing strong relationships with colleagues and players. My quota of Mariner yammering each day is higher than it should be these days, but the angles about this baseball club are exciting. The only angle under Bill Bavasi involved slapping my forehead over his latest move, making it hard to follow the team.

My admiration of Zduriencik becomes a reflection for today because watching him work reminds me of what I miss about serving a congregation. I am looking for work these days, and the search is painful. We haven't reached the point where I need to deliver pizzas or work as a night custodian. I deeply value my time at home with my daughters, helping them adjust to their new surroundings and managing the entire family's transition. Sometimes I wonder what God is up to with me here--but I've been down this road before. When we moved to South Dakota over 8 years ago, I struggled with my place for about 3 months before I embarked on a fulfilling eight-year path. I trust that provision can happen. Sometimes I just don't happen to like God's timing in the present moment. Forgive my impatience.

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