Once upon a time…
… A very proud man in his very fast car was competing in a grueling cross-country race. He had a few races under his belt, but this was by far his most challenging. Anxious for a quick advantage, he gunned his car off the starting line and took a big lead. Soon he was cruising at blistering speed. With no cars in sight he relaxed. Bracing the steering wheel with his knee, he fumbled with an old road map with his right hand; with his left he waved to the cheering crowds.
On a hilltop high above the rows of spectators all the drivers pit crews were stationed. This gave them a panoramic view of the course, except for the finish line area.
Midpoint of the course, this fast driver was still far ahead of the pack, when a radio call interrupted his zealous mood. The message was urgent, “Danger ahead”. It came from his crew, whom he had ignored all day. Annoyed by this distraction from his people, the driver switched off the two-way radio and answered a call on his cell phone. It was a longtime buddy who hailed him on shouting, “Way to go! Keep the throttle down! Remember first is all that matters! “…. But neither of them had noticed that just around the bend the bridge was out.
… In this same race was another driver who had faced several tough courses in his career. He was a confident yet humble man who kept his eyes straight ahead and hands tight on the wheel. When the race started, he quickly found his pace and positioned his car to benefit from the draft of the front-runners. Over the course, this seasoned driver talked non-stop with his loyal crew, who were stationed on the same limited vista. They had coached him to take several detours, along the way, to avoid potential mishaps. As he rounded the final turn in the race, he heard his happy team on his radio shout, “Look’s like you’ve got it. Be careful”. With a grin he replied, ” 10-4 “. Then he put the pedal to the metal, inspired by what a big win would mean for everyone, especially his crew … fully aware that just beyond the finish line the bridge was out.
I have observed that many smart people, who say they aspire to be a top tier leader, are often motivated by an expectation of recognition, rewards and happiness. When at its core, true leadership has always been characterized by sacrifice, suffering and passion. Every effective leader whether an executive, officer, entrepreneur or a marriage partner, who finishes the race well, will face a time when he or she must willing let go of their ego and self image and fully embrace a cause that is beyond their control to receive a reward unsought.
Journal Entry: There is good probability that a bridge along one of the many roads you are traveling will one day be out. How do you plan to drive to each of your finish lines in your leadership and life?
Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again. – C.S. Lewis
There is always someone who will love your idea if you have enough time to find him.
The most pitiable among men is he who strives to turns his dreams to silver and gold. -Khalil Gibran
What is to give light must endure burning. – Viktor Frankl