“Everything Rises and Falls with Leadership” ~John Maxwell~
What if you Knew without a Doubt that you were Uniquely Created for this One Moment in Time? I would like to tell you a story of the Chinese Bamboo Tree. The farmer takes a risks trying desperately to change his family’s future, not just for this generation but generations to come.
He takes a field and instead of planting crops to feed his family and others he plants one little seed after another. Row after row he sees nothing but earth that has been cleared of weeds and rocks. Can you imagine what the rest of his village sees and believes. He will water, fertilize, and weed everyday year after year.
At first he is asked where are his trees, and again and again the answer is the same. My trees will come but only after years of watering and fertilizing. Now after the fourth year the questions have stopped, they don’t even bother laughing at him. It is worse, he is now invisible. His heart grows weary with doubt, but he continues on watering, fertilizing, weeding, and most importantly, believing in himself and his decision.
On the fifth year the entire village is awaken to a scream of joy. As they come running they see a miracle, they see the luckiest farmer in their village. For as far as the eye can see they see sprouts, and then they virtually watch those sprouts grow to over 90 feet tall.
Some people might ask What was that seed doing all those years?
The seed of the the Chinese Bamboo Tree works diligently laying roots deep and wide underground for its persistent caretaker for five long years before it shows any above ground sign of its labor. It then produces over 90 feet of growth straight-up, in just six short weeks.
The other farmers see luck and miracles. But our farmer knows:
“The best luck of all is the luck you make for yourself” ~Douglas MacArthur~
Like the farmer, build your child’s leadership ability with deep and wide roots. This will allow them to grow tall, withstand strong winds of discord, and bend and sway while learning and constantly reaching past their comfort zone. Don’t be afraid to let them discover failure because that is when they will grow the most. Constantly watering and fertilizing their creativity and knowledge. Acknowledging publicly their gifts and generosity as well as their challenges. Walk beside them, letting them know you are there for them but they are the ones creating their future and that they are the ones making the choices. Model the servants heart with them every day. Encourage their passion for making a difference develop this mantra “If not me then who?”
Sometimes the hardest thing to do is be a compass so they can travel far and wide but know how to get home in times of need. I heard this quote from a young gentleman the other day at the Boys and Girls Club. When he recited it I was allowed to see into the person he would become. The following is the quote.
“Only the guy who isn’t rowing has time to rock the boat.” ~jean-Paul Sartre~
Then this young man put it into the words that spoke to my heart. He simply stated that he was tired of rocking the boat and was going to grab the oars for his generation.
My question to you is have you grabbed the oars’ and are you enabling others to row as well?
Barbara Britt has a passion for making a difference in the lives of others. She developed the largest leadership program in the country for high school students and spent 16 years working with that program. She is now using that experience and expertise in the corporate world. As a sought after member of John C. Maxwell’s international speaking, training and coaching team, she conducts leadership, personal and professional development training for a variety of organizations. Barbara’s no-nonsense style helps take companies to a new level of growth. As an executive coach to management teams and entrepreneurs, and a life coach to individuals, Barbara helps redefine her client’s purpose, vision and goals. She speaks & trains on many different topics based on individual or company needs. Topics include Personality Work Styles, Excellence in Customer Service, and Power Networking. She also has developed a Roadmap for College Preparation Program that is helping parents and their children prepare financially, academically, and emotionally for one of the most important times in their family’s life.