Wednesday, May 18, 2011

the gift of leadership



Once there was a chair. Well-worn, but you couldn't say it was tattered. Well-placed, but it was certainly not in the centre of things. A unique chair, but one among many in the room in which it stayed.

The chair was at the end of a long table. A table that provided space for the gift to be carefully and deliberately unwrapped. Every day it was the same gift, but every day it was, in some way, new.

And everyday the gift would be discovered by those who sat around the table... Deliberately, expectantly, hope-fully.

So much was discovered by those who unwrapped the gift - learning, deciding, breaking the gift down and passing it on.

Years went by, and the team in the room became well accustomed to the privilege of gift unwrapping and distribution - each of them finding a comfortable place to sit around the table. Each of them contributing from their unique vantage point. Each of them bringing wisdom to the table on which the gift was laid.

The gift was shared evenly, fairly distributed, and highly effective - but it was not to remain that way.

On one particular occasion a sharp disagreement arose between the unwrappers - it was felt that the one who sat in the chair at the end of the table had a better perspective on the gift than the others, words were said, and envy over position crept into the team.

One day after the gift had been delivered on the table in the usual way, those who sat in the chairs entered the room and jostled, not in anticipation for what they might discover in the gift, but in a race for the chair.

And the chair wondered out loud, "Why is it so important for you to sit here?"

"Because we want to be in leadership", came the reply.

"Funny," said the chair, "I never thought of MYSELF as leadership, I was always under the impression that leadership was WHAT WAS ON THE TABLE."