This was a great day!
We set out to have fun, and succeeded.
We also got to shoot a whole bunch of great pictures, and two cool videos. This is one of them, on a really important topic…
Diane was away on business, Sarah was visiting Jonah in Savannah, and my parents were itching for a visit from their “boy.”
So Jill and I hopped in her car, since mine was in the shop for the weekend, and headed on down to New York.
Now we’ve made the trip hundreds of times, but this is the first time Jill was behind the wheel. She’s been driving for more than three years now, so it’s no big deal. But it was great to see her large and in charge behind the wheel.
And it occurred to me how mature and confident she is. As a dad, I loved that.
And as anyone who wants their followers to get stronger and more independent, it was a great lesson.
I suppose I could have insisted on driving. In fact when we got closer to Manhattan we switched off, since that was too unfamiliar. I grabbed the wheel and got us into the Inwood section of Manhattan, near Fort Tryon Park and The Cloisters.
But Jill took on all she was ready for.
And I didn’t feel the need to be in charge. In fact I was thrilled to give up some of the control.
Because get this…
A real leader makes it possible for their followers to become leaders also.
A wannabee leader hangs onto every ounce of control they possibly can, afraid that will be their last opportunity to be in charge.
And of course that becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. If your ego can’t handle letting someone else grow, you weren’t their leader to start with.
Many times the best thing a leader can do is let someone else do the deal. I got this very clearly when my car was in the shop and my daughter drove us down to New York City…for the first time!
That little girl who used to need guidance was moving through traffic on Interstate 95 on the way down to Manhattan.
Let people grow into taking more responsibility. It’s what makes them stronger, and you a better leader.
Real leaders let their followers take the wheel as soon as possible. In fact, they make it uncomfortable for them to simply sit in the passenger seat.
Or to use a different analogy, they kick them out of the nest the minute they’re ready to fly…even if the follower doesn’t see it him or herself.
Jill was ready for it. She was itching for it.
And I treated her with the respect a strong and confident driver deserves.
With just a little bit of father/daughter goofiness.
Are you following someone? Let them know you’re ready to take the wheel – as soon as you are.
And get yourself ready, because a good leader is going to hand it to you…sometimes when you least expect it.