On Being Moulded For Leadership
Have you ever heard it said that people who are positive and always moving forward are a little like ping pong balls, or life buoys? No matter how hard life tries to keep them down, it is impossible to force a plastic ball filled with air to remain underwater – no sooner do you press it down, than it pops right back up to the surface. I heard this description in a church talk about being authentic the other day, and it resonated with me greatly. Such a simple illustration of a basic life truth.
In my experience, and over decades of observing many friends and others who have had to tackle some tough life lessons, those who are destined for leadership and positive mentorship of others, are frequently the ones who have had the biggest trials. Despite all that they have been dealt or had to face, they have persevered and kept on going, regardless of the weight of the challenge.
Sometimes life swings a really hard bat, and in these times even the toughest and strongest willed among us are sideswiped by the trials they face. It is not uncommon to hear of people who, to the public eye, appear to have everything going for them, yet have faced, or are facing, battles and hardships unimagined by most.
I had a thought some time ago, which I noted down at the time and saw again today, prompting the writing of this post …
It is often the best ‘Teachers’, ‘Healers’ and ‘Leaders’ who have had to break first;
Having been shaped and chamfered,
they become more capable of aptly, ably and knowingly leading the way.
Leaders come in all shapes and sizes, from all walks of life, from a range of backgrounds and experiences, and their spheres of influence vary tremendously. However, one common element in all leadership is that those who have walked the path that they speak of or expect of others, are usually the ones who gain the most respect. Leadership can be taught in various fields and forms, experts coming out of the woodwork all around us, but those who command the greatest following and see the most enduring, sustainable results are those who truly have walked, do walk, their ‘talk’. The most profound lessons are those that are learnt by experience, not those learnt from books or by rote.
Thus, it is always a good idea to try to remember that, when life is creasing, squeezing, squashing, pressing, pruning, and chamfering us … we might just be being moulded for leadership. The more the chamfering, very often the more and more profound, widespread and sustainable the influence later.
There is always something positive to be found in the chamfering moments of life … leadership par excellence so often being the gold at the end of the rainbow, the treasure after and in between the storms.
So, hold on.
You may well be in for the ride of your life or going through something excrutiating right now. Trust that you are being made into an eagle who, like the proverbial ping pong ball, will always find a way to rise up.
Keep your hope alive, rest and breathe …
Yours may well be the hand, the example and the guiding light that someone else gains strength from one day, and you may well be destined for something truly great.
Great people are like ping pong balls … no matter how deep the water and how frequent the dunking, you cannot keep them down.
chamfer: verb – to put an edge, angle or groove in.
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