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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

MAKE SURE ALL THE DOGS SEE THE RABBIT

The following is a great story by Lt. General Russel L. Honore from his book "Leadership In The New Normal."  It reminds me of Coach Don Meyer talking about the importance of not just "seeing the picture" but "painting the picture."

When in charge, take charge.  When you have the opportunity to make a difference, make a difference.  And every now and then, check to make sure you still have followers.

When I was a kid we lived near a plantation.  That plantation had a sugarcane field on one side of the road and row of small houses on the other, and every house had a dog.  Every now and then a rabbit would break out of the sugarcane field and get spotted by a dog.  The dog would take off after it, and as he went down the road, other dogs would join the chase.  Pretty soon that lead dog would have seven, eight, ten dogs running and barking behind him.  They'd keep running and barking until they passed every house.  All the kids in the yards would stand up and watch.

But after about a minute, all but one of the dogs would quit running, leaving only the lead dog chasing the rabbit.  You see, the rest of the dogs started running and barking because they saw the lead dog doing it, and if it seemed worth running behind him, they followed.  But the couldn't see the rabbit, so they stopped.  But the dog that could see the rabbit, he kept running.

You might see the rabbit, but if the people behind you don't, they won't be running for long.  They're going to fall off.  They're going to be nonbelievers.  They're going to become non-performers.

If you're the leader, you have to be sure everyone behind you sees the vision.  They have to see where you want to go.

That's why as a leader, your job is to make sure the purpose stays visible, attainable, and worth running toward.  If you don't, you followers will stop thinking there's a reason to run.