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A Leadership Fable

Sometimes leadership means we have to do some "deep diving" and investigate the leadership teams and organizations we provide oversight for. But "looking under rocks" isn't always easy and often not greeted as warmly as we'd like! Here's a true fable from my family that has helped me understand a difficult leadership challenge.

Over the years, my aunt and uncle have owned several pet ducks. They have embraced the various ducks as a part of their family, giving them free rein over the house and even taking the ducks on vacation with them. Apparently, ducks make a great family pet. The latest duck that they owned was called Poppet. My extended family and Poppet were once on vacation in the countryside. My uncle realized that the duck was looking for a snack, so he walked around until he found a large, heavy rock that he could pick up. He wanted to feed the duck with the tiny bugs hiding underneath. As the duck was sniffing around for some food, my uncle found himself losing his grip on the rock until it left his grasp and landed on the duck, fatally wounding him. This tragedy was very sorrowful to all, except another uncle who witnessed this incident and thus renamed Poppet "Drop-it" because of the unfortunate way he died. 

One of the first roles of a leader is to define reality. This means finding out what is going on and "lifting the rock" to see what is happening inside a person, organization, or ministry. However, leaders beware; as we do, it is possible that rocks can fall on our heads. Sometimes my leadership experience feels like it's not too dissimilar to dear Poppet's. 

Lead well, define reality and keep looking under the rock anyway.

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