Pottery and Leadership

It starts with a shapeless chunk of earth. Dry and rough, devoid of beauty nor refinement but not without potential. The potter prepares the materials with a detailed picture of the end product in mind. He adds just enough water and other materials. He lets his hands dirty as he tries to get the right consistency. When the batter is ready, he waits some more for the water to rise and the clay is ready for the next step.

The potter puts the clay on the pottery wheel and starts working on the shape. The shaping of the clay depends on the skill and creativity of the potter. The success and failure to acquire the right shape is on his hands. After the shape is acquired, the material is solidified by putting it through intense heat. The pot is beautified further by painting it and putting more design. The final product once complete is vastly different from when the process started.

Such is the work of a potter and such is the work of a leader.

She starts with a little more than potential. She prepares the team for the shaping process by giving them a sense of purpose and other basic information they need that will motivate them to accept the bigger information they will get as they go through the process of building their skills – the shaping process. The newly acquired skills is put through the intense heat of testing to solidify it. The leader adds on to what has already been acquired by letting them use their own creativity to adjust to the daily challenge of their work. The finished product is vastly improve from when the shaping process started.

Vision, creativity patience, discipline and willingness to get one’s hands dirty are necessary to succeed in both

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There are not enough magic beanstalks

Most of us probably wish it.

That we find  a handful of magic beans, throw them to the ground, grow a gigantic beanstalk and find the goose that lays the golden egg at the end. It sometimes happen. Blessings fall like manna from heaven even when the lucky ones do not wish for them.  We become green with envy and wish for our turn to have that blessing land on our  very own hands. When things do not happen the way we expect them to we feel cheated. We refuse to take action and still wait for our magic bean entitlement…

Well it might or it might not happen, hence it is useless to just wait and then feel sore in the end. There’s not enough magic beans. You have to find your goose some other way.