Friday Fodder – Leadership

Once upon a time…

Crown Prince Henri ascended the throne, following his father’s sudden death. In a matter of months, the young King was being tested. A severe drought became so widespread that it began to have serious health, social and economic impacts with far-reaching consequences. The acute water shortage meant there was not enough to support food crops. The same problem affected the grass and grain used to feed livestock and poultry. As the drought decimated food sources, people began to go hungry.

The lack of clean water for drinking, public sanitation and personal hygiene unleashed disease throughout the land. As famine engulfed the kingdom, thousands died as a result.

And then the rain came.

After few months, things were slowly starting to improve. However, before they could recover completely, an enemy king invaded the Kingdom. Many were killed and some imprisoned as the enemy seized the throne.

Henri managed to escape in plain clothing. He knew he was as good as dead with the enemy now in charge, so he set out to seek assistance from a neighbouring kingdom. On his way, Henri was plagued by ruminating thoughts. His mind looped with the mental anguish of his ordeal. He was born and bred to be king of the most powerful Kingdom in all the land, yet here he was: destitute, wearing impoverished clothes. It wasn’t fair – he had lost everything!

Henri addressed the neighbouring king and explained all that had happened. After pondering Henri’s story, the king ordered his people to give Henri a herd of 100 sheep. Henri was surprised. He didn’t know the first thing about being a shepherd and besides, he was royalty. He expected much more than this. Henri soon realised that he was in no position to argue.

Within a week a pack of hungry wolves attacked Henri’s herd and killed each one of them. Defeated, he approached the palace to plead his case. This time the king gave Henri 50 Sheep. Unfortunately, Henri also failed to protect those sheep from the wolves and, by the next moon, they were all gone. The 3rd time, Henri was only given 25 sheep. The king didn’t have to say it; Henri knew this was his last chance.

With his mind in overdrive, Henri studied the grazing land completely. He realised that the wolves chose specific areas to initiate their attack. He built additional fencing and swapped a couple of sheep for a sheepdog at the marketplace. The dog would guard the sheep and raise the alarm when wolves were present. Henri spoke to many people in the marketplace and continued to learn the trials and tricks of maintaining the herd. After a few years, Henri’s herd grew to 1000 Sheep.

The king sent for Henri. Upon arriving at the palace, the king announced that he had raised an army. He said “When you first came to me for help, your mindset was that you were born and bred to be a leader. However, the truth was far from it. You may have been born into wealth, regal status, and power, but you were never properly trained to lead your people. So, when I gave you the herd, I was waiting for you to learn how to manage and lead others. Dear friend, I now believe that you are ready to lead. My Generals will help you take back your kingdom, and now no one will take it from you!”

“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.”

– John F. Kennedy

Moral of the Story:

Great leaders can see the greatness in others when they can’t see it themselves and lead them to potentials higher than they had ever dreamed possible. Leadership is not a position or a title, it is action and example. Before you can be a leader, you must grow yourself into someone who is worth following. It’s only after you’ve stepped outside your comfort zone that you begin to change, grow, and transform. There has never been a meaningful life built on easy street. Victims make excuses. Leaders deliver results. Become the kind of leader that people would follow voluntarily, even if you had no title or position. Earn your leadership every day.

“Are leaders born or made? This is a false dichotomy – leaders are neither born nor made. Leaders choose to be leaders.”

– Stephen R. Covey

Affirmation: I inspire others to greatness.

I am an inspiration to others. I bring out the best in people. I have a magnetic personality and I help others to focus on the most positive aspects of themselves. I help people to be the best that they can be and my encouragement moves them into action. I lead others by setting a positive example. I am a great visionary and I set trends that others follow. I see the world is full of possibilities. My passion for life energises others and my story of personal freedom inspires others to seek the same. My words inspire people all over the world. I easily take charge, no matter what the situation. People often look to me for advice. I embrace responsibility and I eagerly accept new challenges. I accomplish difficult and challenging tasks with strength and resolve, knowing that these jumps are placed in the arena for training and strengthening. I shape my own destiny.

“Leadership is not about titles, positions, or flow charts. It is about one life influencing another.”

– John C. Maxwell


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