Today we bring you a special guest posting from "Dad" Brent Richards.
“Unless you’re the lead dog, the view is always the same.” Eskimo Proverb
On a dog sled team, the lead dog is absolutely vital to the success and safety of the sled… the rest of the team will follow where he leads, stop when he stops, continue while he presses on, give up when he quits. Almost any strong dog can be put in the traces with minimal training, and will quickly learn to “pull his weight” and follow along. The lead dog, on the other hand, must be experienced, well-trained, and obedient, or the whole team will be in trouble. The lead dog is responsible for leading the way, and keeping the sled on a safe path. The other dogs simply watch him, and do what he does. Think about this... what does the lead dog see, versus what the other dog sees. The lead dog sees:
Upcoming turns in the path
Challenging stretches of trail to prepare for
Weak patches in the ice
Fallen trees or other obstacles in the path
Other sleds approaching
Wolves, bears or other predators to avoid
The goal/finish in the distance
What do the other dogs see?
The lead dogs tail
The roles of leaders and followers in life are not all that different. There’s lots of challenges to being a leader. It’s hard work. But there are also lots of payoffs. A true leader:
o Gets the satisfaction of knowing he’s made a difference.
o Accomplishes far more by enlisting the help of others.
o Shares the burden of the work, and achieves greater success than any one person could alone.
o Saves himself and others from unnecessary pain and frustration by his good choices.
o Learns more by leading than he ever could by following.
o Develops and invests his natural talents.
o Earns the respect and affection of his peers.
o Develops more leaders from the people around him to continue the work.
o Learns difficult but rewarding life lessons, like self-sacrifice and learning by failure.
o Lives a far more rewarding and exciting life than he could by just being a follower.
o Develops deeper relationships and friendships than he otherwise would.
o Draws attention and rewards from employers and others in authority, and advances in leadership positions in various parts of his life.
And much much more… What will you choose in your life? Will you be a leader? Or are you content with the same old view?
"Dad" Brent Richards is a Past State Master Councilor of Pennsylvania DeMolay. He is a Chevalier and member of the Legion of Honor. He is also a Welshman... but we won't hold that against him.