People are often surprised that I sometimes take on controversial subjects and am not afraid to challenge someone.
My response is this: If you read my column regularly, you know that I make mistakes. I am humbled by my persistent failures. But, what comes from failure is wisdom. Tempered steel is strengthened by fire.
I was talking to John Couvrette from T2 Systems recently and asked if he had been impacted by the wildfires in California. His quick answer was this (paraphrased): “Except for the personal devastation from losing your home, fires are good. Fires are healthy and part of the design.”
He went on to tell me that only in a fire do many of the lodgepole pines drop their seeds. Even the giant sequoias are designed to benefit from an occasional burn.
Not that I have even come close to being considered a good Leader, I was inspired to write a little more on leadership, Enjoy. (I will probably be a bit controversial again today, so read on.)
I’m not a fisherman. I’m probably not a fisherman because my father isn’t a fisherman. Not that I’ve never gone fishing. I enjoyed it occasionally as a teenager, where a few of us would put together what gear we could round up and head to Lake Wilhelm or Lake Arthur in Western Pennsylvania to try our luck.
We would sleep under a dirty old oily tarp that I’d “borrow” from one of my father’s construction sites, or just sleep in the car. It always rained when we went fishing. In fact, it rains a lot in western PA.
I know enough about fishing to be dangerous. I know what a lure is, what a swivel is (in the sport of lacrosse, we always tell the guys to keep their head on a swivel, so they don’t get their bell rung), what a bobber is, a sinker, and other terms.
Today, I want to focus on the role of the leader in a fishing tackle setup.
I was struck one day when I was thinking about how appropriate that name is for its position in the fishing equation. Pay attention to how similar the roles are for a leader in fishing and the person who is the Leader of an organization, a family, a team, or whatever you call your collection of people.
In fishing, the leader is a short section of wire or heavy monofilament that connects the lighter-gauge monofilament fishing line to the hook and bait, or lure. In other words, it’s a connector. The leader is in place to take the abuse of the fish so that all the other parts can do their work and ultimately bring in the prize catch.
The leader is crucial to the success of the catch. Without it, the fish can gnaw away at the line and break free, destroying the hard work, time and effort of going fishing.
You may be tempted to take a shortcut and not place a leader in line, but the extra time will be appreciated once you land a big one and the likelihood of failure with a good leader in place is greatly diminished.
A leader can make the line accomplish a catch that is way above its “test” (rated strength). A leader goes in adjacent (supporting) to the hook or lure as first in the water and last out, in for the whole game.
A leader willingly puts itself in harm’s way; in fact it was designed for just that and it’s their distinct purpose and often, amazingly, pleasure. The strength of the leader is paramount to the safety and success of the adventure.
Ever notice that entire articles are written on the types of lures and bait that are used in record catches? They even discuss the test of the line the trophy was caught with, but never do they report anything at all about the leader. Basically, the leader steps aside and lets everyone else take the credit.
It’s certainly the reason I like to write about actual events, stories, good and bad.
A true Leader needs to first be a good follower or he or she can never be a good Leader.
But then the even bigger thing, a Leader must believe that he or she can do the miraculous, the never been done, the next big thing, through those who allow them to lead.
I think one of the most remarkable and powerful sentences in the entire Bible is this, “Peter stepped out of the boat!”
“Holy Levitation” (as Robin once said to Batman in their infamous TV series), do you have the confidence and belief to step out of the boat? What’s holding you back?
Get on the water. There’s never been a better time to believe in yourself, and those who surround you, and take a walk.
Imagine getting your daily 10,000 steps on top of the water!