Tag Archives: Sergio Zyman

A Group of Bumblers Who Slowly Learn

Story of the Day for Tuesday October 18, 2011

A Group of Bumblers Who Slowly Learn

                    “How long am I going to put up with you?”

                                                                         Mark 9:19

 Jesus wants to teach us an important truth – one that many Fortune 500 companies have recently discovered.


Sergio Zyman (pronounced ZEE-man) worked on the top secret Project Kansas in 1984. This marketing project introduced New Coke and announced that the “Old Coke” would be discontinued.

Fortune magazine called it “the most disastrous product launch since the Edsel.” Zyman, to no one’s surprise, was fired by Coca-Cola.


In 1993, Zyman was hired by (who would ever guess?) Coca-Cola – this time with a higher position: he became the chief global marketer for the company.

Coca-Cola’s CEO, Roberto Goizueta explained, “We became uncompetitive by not being tolerant of mistakes. The moment you let avoiding failure become your motivator, you’re down the path of inactivity. You can stumble only if you’re moving.”


The potato product company, Ore-Ida shoots off a cannon to celebrate a “perfect failure.” Esso Resources of Canada rewards failure with the Order of the Duck – a duck’s head mounted on a toilet plunger. More and more, successful companies have come to realize that only by trying, and failing, can we ever grow.


Jesus sent his twelve disciples on a mission trip. He gave them authority to preach, heal, and drive out demons. They returned as seasoned veterans.

But, a while later,  when Jesus came down from a mountain with Peter, James, and John, he found the rest of his disciples surrounded by a large crowd in animated discussion. A man stepped forward and explained that he asked Jesus’ disciples to heal his demon-possessed son . . . but they couldn’t do it.


Jesus asked (no doubt with a big sigh) “How long am I going to put up with you?” but we know the answer. He is going to put up with them as long as it takes.

The Bible does not paint a picture of twelve, saintly guys who invariably get things right on the first try.  Instead, we’re shown a group of bumblers who slowly learn what the life of faith is all about.


But here’s the point: Jesus never gave up on them.

And he never gives up on you.

                                                              (copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)