This morning, I decided on scrambledeggs for breakfast. I broke a couple eggs into a bowl. The third one, (or maybe it was the fourth) left a little piece of shell in the bowl. My hands were clean, mostly, so I tried to pinch the piece of shell to get it out of the eggs. I couldn’t quite catch it. Every time I put my finger and thumb together the little fragment would slip out.
Some of you know what I am talking about. Some of you are primed to give advice like use one of the egg-shell halves to scoop out the broken piece. I know of better ways to solve the problem than the one I was using, but it became a contest. It was small fragment of shell – comfortable inits protective bed of egg whites: versus the 250 pound mammoth, attacking its rightful place with its egg brothers.
I was not to be deterred. Rather than use a more effective method, I continued to show it whose boss’. I used my fingers to dig for the fragment. Just when I thought I was victorious the tiny sliver broke into two pieces one in my fingers and the other laughingly slipping away into the egg sanctuary.
It was decision time. How much was I going to let that inanimate object mock me? After all, I’d dug through the eggs with my fingers enough to scramble them.. But that tinier sliver of shell was smiling at me: still safe and secure after all my attempts. I slowed down. My next attempt was more determined. Using my finger and thumb, I maneuvered the sliver to the side of the bowl and segregated it into captivity.
Somewhere along the line, I went from desiring scrambled eggs to enjoying the chase. I no longer thought about my wife and I eating the eggs. The challenge was to actually catch this culprit with my bare hands, uh…fingers.
Now another decision, do I really want to eat these eggs? My hands were clean, at least I thought so. But would my wife think my hands were clean enough or would the whole fiasco turn her against the consumption of the eggs? Then again only I would know, and the doctor if it came to that. I won’t divulge my decision.
Defining leadership is like trying to catch an egg-shell fragment in an ocean of eggs. Just the time you think you have your finger on it, it slips out and the pursuit is back on, again and again. I guess that is why there are so many books written on leadership; so many classes, so many styles, so many answers, and even more questions. There is no one way to define or understand leadership. It is liquid, flowing, moving, redefining, changing, growing and morphing. Etc. etc., etc…
We all see examples of leadership around us, both good and bad. No need to name names. These examples can influence us and affect us for better, hopefully not for worse. So these writings will be a collection of observations and reflections on leadership. I continue to observe, and learn, and relearn. It never stops.
I’ll be posting every Monday.
I do hope you enjoy the musings and even if it is an accident, I hope you learn something. Chase the egg-shell. Don’t worry about catching it. Enjoy the chase. Get in there and mix it up, you may just scramble a few eggs of your own. After all leadership is a journey, not a destination.