Backbone vs. Wishbone


Recently Christopher Hopper asked me to guest blog for him and the post I wrote fits in wonderfully with Steve Fogg’s post from yesterday and to continue our theme of Courageous Creative Leading.

“Employ your time in improving yourself by other men’s writings so that you shall come easily by what others have labored hard for.” – Socrates

William Becker said, “The individual activity of one man with backbone will do more than a thousand men with a mere wishbone.” All of us have a wishbone that functions very well. I think we would all agree that a backbone is more important.

But, why is it that some people just naturally seem to have more backbone than others? My theory is that courage is a direct result of confidence. Confident people seem to accept major challenges. How do we develop confidence? I believe the gaining of knowledge leads to confidence. That’s just one of the reasons that it is important to continue to learn and grow, don’t you think?

Matt Knisely

Matt Knisely is an Emmy Award–winning visual storyteller, creative director, and author who loves telling stories of the extraordinary. Make sure you check out his book Framing Faith, it helps connect the seemingly unconnected, see the beauty right in front of us, and revealing how to be present in the moment.

+ Learn More

Write already.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  1. Agreed. I remember seeing Bill Hybels talk about how he could make seemingly very complex decisions quickly, and with a fairly high degree of success. He talked about his "filter grid," which he had built up over the years through reading and study, successes and failures in other real-world decision making situations, and some bedrock beliefs that he knew were unshakeable becase they were either scriptural promises, or he had seen so much evidence of the way God worked in similar situations. When he came to tough decisions (which require courage), he would filter it through his internal grid, applying all kinds of experience and truth and relational tests to the situation. Wise words. I am always thinking along these lines now… building up my internal filter, so that I can prayerfully and courageously make decisions when the stakjes are high.____Thanks for the great post. God bless.

  2. Wow- bam, bam – great intro to you and I love it. Courageous Leadership is what I live daily in all my many roles in life (wife, mom, marketer and public servant – in that order) and love to have the encouragement because it can be a lonely existence sometimes. Thank you so much for blogging this.

  3. One person at the pinnacle of Courageous Leadership in my opinion is Winston Churchill and he once said, “Continuous effort – not strength or intelligence – is the key to unlocking our potential.” Churchill not only said it, he believed it and he lived it. As a result, his example led England to stand up to Hitler’s armies when it seemed impossible.

    I’m all for trying new approaches and implementing new strategies when they are necessary. But there is no substitute for persistence. I see that as I watch you who are successful. You don’t wait for circumstances to change. You don’t wait for some new gadget to come along that will solve your problems. You just keep on plowing; day after day and week after week.

    I’m not inspired by those who are up one day and down the next. They stir up a lot of dust but they never move any ground. Think I see the workings of a new post 😉