Grow Innerly Rather Than Outperformingly

Quoting from Luci Shaw’s book Adventure of Ascent

Today, an email message from an organization known as Training Summits, inviting me to become part of a team of executives and visionaries—trainers whose agenda it is to help their trainees to “outperform.”

I’m willing to admit that there’s a certain value in efficient, forward-looking planning and training, but the word outperform bothers me somehow.

Schadenfreude is all too likely to happen when one aims for the top; the news of someone else’s failure to achieve boosts our own sense of “outperformance.”

schadenfreude image for post


It may be true that the whole human effort to get ahead may often be because the only choice these days is between survival and impoverishment. But I suspect it’s what I deal with still in my own efforts—the urge to outperform and thus become exceptional, which far too easily slides into arrogance and hubris.

I responded to the invitation thus: that I hope to grow innerly rather than outperformingly.

And I unsubscribed from the organizational blog.


I am a husband, father, pastor, leader & reader. I love God, love people & love life.

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