Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Care Enough to Just Watch

Today's entry is coming to you thanks to Innovative Health Group Massage Therapist Kathryn Keller. Kathryn is a leader in her own right because she leads herself at a high level. In that regard, the discussions are many that could end up on this platform but here is but one...

Seeing a caterpillar struggle to create a cocoon that he would eventually surround himself in, a young boy decides to save the caterpillar and set it free. He takes it home and the caterpillar is free of struggle. Soon after, unable to enter the larval stage of it's development, the caterpillar dies, never to become a beautiful butterfly.

This little story is analogous to parenting, coaching, leadership, and love.
Sometimes our intentions lead to actions that lead to outcomes that don't match our intentions.
Sometimes we love someone so much that in the moment acting out of love we paralyze or even kill (socially, spiritually, etc) the very person or thing we are trying to help.

Coddling (in my opinion) happens for 3 reasons; either
A) love is blind and the parent/ teacher/ coach/ leader/ etc is unable or unwilling to see the big picture disconnect between their actions and the eventual outcome, or
B) idiocy - thinking the rules don't apply to them or their kids because of social class or something else that they feel separates them from the herd, or
C) caving to be popular with the kids vs being right and willing to be unpopular to set them on the right path in life.

In any event, growth is achieved out of adversity and the struggle leads to success. If you had to go through it (and it made you better) why would you remove adversity as a teaching mechanism from your kids, students, peers, or employees?

Great leaders facilitate, not 'fix'...
Great parents will go through struggle with you, not for you...
Great teachers prepare you, not just pass you.

True love and true leadership requires the discipline to just watch when your heart is breaking to go help someone struggling.

Life is going to teach the tough lessons at some point anyways, so our job as parents, teachers, and coaches is to prepare people to be successful when that time comes rather than let the hard facts hit them when it's already too late.

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