- On March 15, 2016
I’m at my favorite coffee shop. It’s crowded today and the only table open is in the ‘Mom’s & Kids’ section. Distracted from the work I brought with me, I am fascinated by the kids playing with the bins of toys at the Thomas the Train table.
One 3-year old puts the rhino on top of the castle turret as a lookout and uses the bulldozer as a carriage for the little princess.
A couple of 2-year olds are squaring up the elephant and the T-Rex for an epic battle on the crumb-strewn floor.
My ‘Aha!’ There are no rules in their play. They use whatever is available to serve the purposes of the story…and sometimes they change in mid-stream to find something else that works.
Remember Mr. Potatohead?
You could build Mr. Potatohead however you wanted; there wasn’t a ‘right way.’ Put hands where the feet should go. Put an eye on top of his head. Outdoor Odyssey Leadership Academy in southwest Pennsylvania uses Mr. Potatohead in their kids mentor program to explain how we build up our leadership. Trying out new things, seeing what fits for us. There is no ‘right’ answer.
Really good Leadership is like that—full of experimentation, curiosity, and learning. I learned the hard way that you can’t build your own leadership presence by emulating someone else. I had to experiment and figure out what fits for me, my values, my beliefs, and for the situation.
Is your leadership growth at a standstill?
When was the last time you played Mr. Potatohead…or used your pink rabbit to rescue the construction worker weeble in the overturned fire engine?
Photo Credit: © Oleg Dudko | Dreamstime.com ID: 58716899