A Lego Life

This week I am at Walt Disney World attending the Disney Institute. The Disney Institute is the professional development arm of The Walt Disney Company. They offer intensive classes to business professionals to assist in engaging in best practices and real life business solutions that facilitate corporate culture change. Simply put I want to be the best Pastor and CEO possible, which require I sharpen my skills in a lot of areas. I am participating in the Leadership Excellence Institute. Almost my entire professional life I have made it a practice to invest in my development. I am cautious of people who spend time vacationing, shopping, facebooking, twittering, dancing, and doing all the fun social things but never schedule time to learn to do what they do better and to expose themselves to people that are exponentially more successful than they in some discipline or interest. Who can’t learn something from Disney? After all they have a lot more visitors on Sunday than our church does.


As much as I am able I try to combine my personal and my professional life. I know for most people this is frowned upon but I am learning that my worlds can be BOTH connected and compartmentalized. I am learning the extreme ends of an issue have usually gone a little too far. My calling is too important to exclude my family from it and my family is too important to exclude my calling from it. Don’t get me wrong I do believe in compartmentalization. There is no way I know to succeed in life without the ability to isolate and focus on difficult issues apart from everything else or as I like to say to know what gets your full-time focus at any given moment. When things fit then connect them and when they don’t.. Well they don’t. There will always be paradoxes between our professional and personal lives. The key is to know when they connect and when they don’t. I call this the “Lego life.” As you know Legos are a construction toy that consists of interlocking blocks.


As my children and I walked through Downtown Disney we encountered the Lego store. It’s amazing what you can build with Lego blocks. I took a picture of three of my children in the midst of a figure built with Lego blocks and it triggered some thoughts for me.


  1. Greatness is built with small pieces. Huge images and significant accomplishments are created with the connecting of seemingly insignificant resources. Too often we wait look past the small resources we have when in reality we may very likely have enough of them to build something grand. Use what you have and don’t assume you don’t already have what you need.

  2. There is no substitute for vision. The pieces don’t look like what they were formed into but someone saw it. Two people can be given the exact same pieces or the exact resources and create two different realities. It all depends on what each of them sees. May we begin immediately to expand our vision? Let’s begin seeing more in our children, family, friends, churches and communities.

  3. Everything versus something. There is no debate that we don’t always have what is needed to create everything but we are never expected to build everything but rather something. Too often the something crowd get squeezed out by the everything crowd. Stop trying to do everything and begin doing something. Walt Disney, Steve Jobs, Martin Luther King, Jr. are not known because of everything they did but rather because of something they did. What’s your something?

  4. Diversity has power beyond us. Consider all the shapes and colors that Lego blocks come in. No one piece can make anything more than itself. If I want to be a part of something bigger than me it will require others that are nothing like me. The most unaccomplished people are those who insist on doing it with those with their same “look.”

We are all a living Lego. We have the potential to be a part of something larger than us and to build something that others will be in awe of. What are you building with what you have been given and what are you a part of that is larger than you?

821 Word Plaza
Rocky Mount, NC 27804
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james@jamesgailliard.com

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