This episode is part of our special webinar series on Using Your Platform For Good In Crisis.
To say that this season has been disruptive may feel like an understatement. Most businesses, ministries, and individuals have been forced to make difficult decisions. What to stop doing, who to let go – now, when to re-open? It’s much like pruning.
Halftime Institute Alumni around the world are leading some of the most critical, compassionate and impactful organizations serving quite literally millions of people – and we wonder: How could this pruning be part of God’s bigger plan? Could it be that our best years of impact are ahead?
Dale Dawson was the head of investment banking for Stevens Inc. when he participated in a Halftime Program. During the launch event, each participant was tasked with drawing a picture on a whiteboard to show what they wanted to do in their next season. Dale drew an outline of the continent of Africa and of the USA, sketching a bridge between the two. “I want to build a bridge between affluent talented people in the USA and some of the brightest young people in Rwanda to transform the lives of people on both sides of the bridge.”
17 years ago, Bridge2Rwanda was born.
When crisis hit the organization in 2012, Dale and his B2R Team were faced with two options:
- Prune the organization and focus on their best opportunities
- Shut down
Today, their decision to choose Option #1 — pruning — has produced an organization that stands alone in its effectiveness; finding and launching the next generation of world changers in Africa.
CLICK HERE to watch or listen to the recording of our conversation.
Dale recently joined Lloyd Reeb and Doug Piper to discuss how to endure and advance through the pruning process. Here’s what he said…
1. Learn to listen. The Lord disrupts all of our lives in some way in order to get our attention. When we’re in a crisis, all of the underpinnings of the things we lean on start to shift. We question the solidity of our strategy. It is in times of uncertainty that the Spirit is tapping us on the shoulder and saying, “look at me”. Getting out of our comfort zone is one way God calls us to listen closer. You are not there on accident. Ask the Spirit of God to be loud!
2. Be available and ready to flex. I try to start every day telling myself, “I’m not in charge — I’m just available to do whatever Jesus wants me to do next”. I hold “lightly” to B2R, not looking back at what we’ve done, but rather asking how Jesus wants to use B2R now to fulfill His plan. I listen and pray for guidance and courage. We expect doors to close, but have faith that Jesus will create opportunities for B2R to prevail and make an impact.
3. Live without fear. We try to live without fear, particularly fear of failure. In Rwanda, Jesus often calls us to pursue projects and ideas where the outcomes are very uncertain. We don’t know what’s going to happen, but we see a need or opportunity and we start working on it. We call this “walking to the edge of uncertainty”. It’s important because it is at the edge of uncertainty where you get to see miracles … outcomes you know you didn’t control, but where you see God’s hand a work. It is very addictive behavior.
4. Look forward with hope. Despite the disruption and uncertainty of our current situation, a part of me is looking forward to see what Jesus is going to do next! In a crisis, we are forced to make decisions about changing and eliminating operations, activities and people that we normally aren’t willing to do. Hard times like this cause us to clear the plate, review our options and change our priorities and plans. With the benefit of hindsight, again and again we’ve seen God lead us into new opportunities following a crisis – to more significant results and impact.
5. Don’t go it alone. Seek out others who have a strong, Spirit-led drive to find their calling. Jesus will use that to be a guide, inspiration, and lesson. They will see God’s hand at work and see what He does when we make ourselves available. God calls each one of us to a very unique mission. Sharing your enthusiasm, passion, and calling with other people is how God uses us to be an instrument in his hands. The greatest treasures of your second half are the friendships and relationships you build.
“My advice at times like this is to not be afraid … watch for God to do something amazing. We are in His hands – He’s got this.”
Dale’s journey reminds us that our souls crave to know that we were put on this planet for a purpose, designed and equipped to live that purpose out. When you’re clear on your calling, that has staying power. Tactics and strategies have to remain flexible.
If you’re not sure exactly what your strengths are, or how to maximize them for a leveraged impact, we’d love to help you explore that with a Halftime CertifiedTM Coach. Learn how One on One Coaching can help equip you for impact. In addition, we will be offering a Reset Program starting this summer in order to help you build or adjust your strategy for the next season. Click the button below to stay in the loop.
ABOUT OUR FEATURED ALUM, DALE DAWSON:
Dale Dawson is an investment banker, entrepreneur, and founder, Chair & CEO of Bridge2Rwanda. He serves on the Presidential Advisory Council of Rwandan President Paul Kagame, the board of Halftime Institute and the investment committee of Diamond State Ventures. Since 2002, Dale has helped launch and grow a number of businesses and social enterprises in Rwanda. During his first half, Dale served as Head of Investment Banking at Stephens Inc; Partner and National Director at KPMG; and Chair & CEO of TruckPro, an independent distributor of commercial truck parts he later sold to AutoZone.
Dale and his wife, Judi, are University of Texas graduates who split their time between Little Rock, Arkansas and Kigali. They have two adult children, a son-in-law and a new granddaughter.