“I do not know the man!” he said, cursing and swearing. As he kicked a gray coal back into the fire, he suddenly felt eyes on him. He heard a rooster crowing.
Was Peter a shallow man? I don’t think so, but he was human just like we are. He faced uncertainty, frustration and failure. Peter was impulsive and quick to speak. Was this a negative trait? Maybe, but Peter was a man who knew his roots. He was grounded. He was a strong and stable person. 

Just like you and I, Peter faced crisis events in his life. Did he vacillate? Yes. Did he make mistakes? Yes. Did he fail? Yes. But Peter knew his roots. He had a strong connection with his ultimate purpose in life. Though he made mistakes, when Peter got clarity, he self-corrected quickly.
Peter had a close relationship with Jesus. He didn’t let the violent storm keep him from walking to Jesus on the water. When Jesus’ teaching became too difficult for many to bear, multitudes turned back from following Him. Jesus asked the twelve disciples, “Will you also go away?” Peter’s immediate and clear declaration came from his deep connection with his roots. “Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life.” Peter knew to whom he was committed and why.

Peter expressed his commitment to Jesus with these words, “Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee.”
Peter was the disciple who followed Jesus the furthest on His journey to the judgement hall. He was also the first disciple to venture into the empty tomb. 
Peter passionately preached a compelling evangelistic message to a disillusioned and dangerous crowd. What kept Peter on the right track?

Peter was able to make the right choices in difficult circumstances, because he knew his purpose and mission in life. When he hit the wall, he didn’t change course, at least not for long. He adapted to his circumstance and found ways to fulfill his purpose.

When Jesus was captured in the Garden of Gethsemane, all the disciples ran away. All except Peter. He followed the crowd at a safe distance. But then Peter too caved in to the pressure and denied that he even knew who Jesus was. Peter failed miserably. But, as soon as he realized the horrible deed he had done, he went out by himself and confessed his wrong – weeping bitterly over his failure. 

Why did it affect him so? Peter knew his roots. That’s what made the failure so clear to Peter. He knew his roots so well that, when he left them, he could see the problem. He could see how awfully far he had strayed from his roots. Because he knew them.

Peter was able to think clearly in crisis. Consider this story from Acts 5:28-32. He snatched this opportunity to deliver his mission. 

27 And when they had brought them, they set them before the council: and the high priest asked them,
28 Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.
29 Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.
30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree.
31 Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.
32 And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.

Peter was sent to prison at this point, but God miraculously delivered him. 

Later, Peter’s roots took him to a martyr’s death. Ultimately, he followed through on his commitment to follow Jesus even “though I should die with thee.” Peter’s purpose was nobly fulfilled.

Do you know your roots? What are your roots? As it relates to your business or the organization you lead, roots can be categorized in three distinct parts. 

  1. Vision – higher purpose 
  2. Mission – what we serve to whom
  3. Core Values – basis for decisions 

When you know your Vision, Mission, and Core Values, you can make better decisions faster. That allows you to do two important things in times of crisis: 1) Act quickly to limit risks. 2) Take advantage of opportunities. Whether in crisis or not, we will become disillusioned if we are not crystal clear on our higher purpose, what we serve to whom, and our basis for decisions.

Peter knew his Vision. “Thou hast the words of eternal life.” Peter wanted his people to experience the transformation Messiah was bringing.

Peter knew his Mission. “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” Peter was serving his own people by delivering the Gospel message.

Peter knew his Core Values. But Peter said unto him, “Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.” That was Peter’s response to a man who wanted to buy the power of Jesus. Peter knew his basis for decisions.
Do you know the higher purpose of your business? Do you know who you are serving? Do you know your basis for decision making?

When you know your purpose, mission and values, you can make good decisions quickly. The first step in knowing your roots is to discover and clarify what they are. Consider these definitions. 

Vision: This is your higher purpose. It is your why, the reason your organization exists. This primary root goes deep to the water source and provides energy to keep growing when the short term is dry. It is a clear picture of the new future you intend to create.

Mission: The practical way to move toward the vision. This is what we commonly see as business— building houses, repairing cars or baking cakes.

Core Values: Priorities for decision making that everyone needs to follow so the vision and the mission can be realized. Core Value roots spread wide and stabilize the organization in the daily winds of external influence. These values are the foundation on which we perform work and conduct ourselves, the deeply ingrained principles that guide all actions.  

This is a time of crisis. You need to know your roots. Are you grounded like you should be?

If not, this free Root Development Guide will help you get clarity on your business roots. Click here or reply to this email.

In the fear of the Lord is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge. (Proverbs 14:26) God bless you with confidence and wisdom for your leadership responsibilities.

About the Author: Roy Herr is the senior marketing consultant at Rosewood Marketing. The Rosewood team guides business owners through marketing challenges into sustainable growth. Contact Roy at roy@rosewood.us.com