On Leading Like a Pencil

I read an article in this mornings paper by Harvey Mackay that reminded me of a story I have heard before.  It’s a great lesson for leaders and followers. It’s a lesson for all of us.

The lesson goes like this: A young boy asked his mother what he should do to be a success when he grew up.  The mother thought for a moment, and then told him to bring her a pencil.

Puzzled, the boy found a pencil and gave it to her. ” If you want to do good,” she said, ” you have to be just like this pencil.”

“First, you will be able to do a lot of things, but not on your own.  You have to allow yourself to be held in someone’s hand.

Second, you’ll have to go through a painful sharpening from time to time, but you will need it to do what you need to do.

Third, you will always be able to go back and correct any mistakes you make if you want to slow down and do it.

Fourth, no matter what you look like on the outside, the most important part will always be what’s inside.

And, fifth, ” the mother finished, ” you have to press hard in order to make a mark.”

Teamwork.  Accepting criticism.  Correcting mistakes.  Self-confidence.  Working hard.  Not a bad formula for success in life and not a bad reminder for people in leadership.


Ron Cline/2013

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