Jim Seybert wrote a great devotional guide for leaders and managers titled, “One Year Mini for Leaders”.  His entry for February 3 ties into several conversations I enjoyed over the last couple of weeks with clients and friends.  I think you will enjoy it, too.

Do Your Research

“He waited another seven days and then released the dove again. This time it did not come back.” Genesis8:12

Imagine Noah’s disappointment when the dove came back the first time with nothing in its beak. He had done his research, and it had failed – or had it?

It’s my belief that properly conducted research is never a failure because you learn something even when the results are not what you expected. In fact, a survey that reveals an unexpected result is probably more successful than one that just confirms what you already knew.

Noah did not change his approach on the second and third attempts. He ran the research exactly the same all three times. Release the dove, wait for it to return, wait seven days, release the same dove, wait for it to return, release the same dove. Maintaining consistency throughout a research project adds a bulletproof level of credibility.

If you’re facing a big decision and the data comes back with something unexpected, you haven’t failed; you’ve merely taken another step toward success.

Jim Seybert, One Year Mini for Leaders, February 3rd entry, Tyndale House Publishers.