Want great leaders? Keep surprising the neigh-neigh

Watching my daughter Bea, I had an epiphany.

The fact that when we’re younger, we’re more likely to try the impossible, even if cynical elder others tell us it can’t be done.

I’m not talking about stupid, self-destructive activities. I’m talking about positive game-changing activities, like creating integrated circuitry on the head of a pin or developing the neuroscience behind emotional intelligence and teaching us to lead ourselves and others to a less divisive promised land.

Did Bea imagine springing atop the horse to ride away like the wind?

I don’t know. Maybe. She’s only two.

But it didn’t matter that I as an adult I knew she couldn’t do it. She believed she could, or whatever she imagined.

For me, that moment was a metaphor for I’m comin’ to get you life. I call it surprising the neigh-neigh (that’s what she currently calls horses).

I had a coaching client yesterday talk about taking on the impossible — the riskier but more personally challenging of two career paths, even when everyone around him told him to take the much easier and higher paying one.

He recently told his older son:

“Look at a headstone in a cemetery. You’ll see a start date and an end date with a dash in between. Your life is that dash. Fill it with great living.”

Recently I saw someone post online:

If you want great leaders, raise great kids.

Same goes for:

If you want great leaders, hire and develop great employees.

And:

If you want to be a great leader, become empathic and mindful and develop yourself and others.

How to do all that?

Keep surprising the neigh-neigh.


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