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Leadership lesson from a mother hen (3)

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Keep your dream alive. You never know who and where God will use to shelter the dream. Have you ever felt the frustration that comes from doing some people a good turn only to discover later when you really needed them that they were not there for you? Sometimes, this is a real source of discouragement for many leaders. You have invested time, energy, resources in people. But in your hour of need, you had no access to them. If that sounds like your current experience, know this, no seed into anyone’s life is ever lost. Your refuge may be waiting in a location in which you had invested nothing. This hen did not belong to us. Yet God used us to provide refuge for the incubation and birth of its dream. I do not recall that the owner came knocking on our door at any time looking for a lost hen or to express gratitude to us for sheltering his hen. I live in an estate where most of the houses are not fenced, meaning that before it sauntered into our yard, it was part of a homestead. But at the critical point of need, that house provided no relevance. Be flexible in your expectations of acceptance. The familiar doesn’t always prove to be the feasible.

On the journey towards the attainment of your dream, aloneness is often a virtue. In the frenzy of so many things happening around us and the plethora of gadgets and media, distraction is the norm. Consequently, it can be very difficult to just shut down and be alone without feeling lonely. Yet, it takes aloneness to sharpen focus. At critical moments in a leader’s life, it is essential to shut down and just focus on the task at hand and the strategy required to accomplish it. For the almost one-month period of incubation, the hen had no social life. The environment of seclusion provided by the pile of debris was a convenient get-away point for the hen. Every leader must also identify and use to good effect, his own get-away spot. For Jesus when He was on earth, His favourite get-away spot was the Mount of Olives (Luke 22:39).

However, aloneness is not synonymous with loneliness. True greatness always involves others. There is no self-made man. Everyone who succeeds is a sum of the various people that influenced his journey. Every Adam who embarks on the cultivation of a designated garden will attract help.  We all could do with some help if we are to significantly succeed. Someone somewhere already has what we are looking for. The specificity of the dream always determines the type and quality of help required. Some people will help because they want to. They are enamoured of the vision and would give an arm and a leg to be part of it. Others will help because they are literally compelled to. But whichever way it comes, help is essential. So, God in His wisdom positions people at critical points of our journey to give us the necessary assistance. Leveraging on the wherewithal provided by other people will help the leader move faster towards his goal. Even though we didn’t know the owner of the hen, it didn’t make a difference. In His infinite wisdom, God had ordained that our house would be used to facilitate the birth of the hen’s dream. Many people rue their lot in life because they refuse to leave their comfort zone in the misguided notion that they can do it all by themselves. Many reject help even when made available because they want to act the superhero. The sad part of that is that those who refuse to relate with others not only forfeit essential interventions in their lives, they also do not know how to reach out and deploy their capacity in the service of others.

To succeed significantly in life, a leader must recognize that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. The pile of debris that the hen found suitable for hatching its chicks was junk to us, ready to be discarded. Very often, we despise the places that God takes us through because we think that we have better ideas about what we want. Every residential estate was once a forest. The story is told of a man who was trying to sell a large expanse of land. When prospective buyers made enquiries, he wasted no time in telling them that the place was largely forest and virgin land. For a long time, nobody followed through with their interest in buying. One day, he mentioned it to his friend. His friend decided to take responsibility for the sale. After they agreed on the selling price, his friend went and raised some money and paid him off. Then he proceeded to advertise the same land for sale. This time he described in graphic details the possibilities in the land. A residential estate complete with all amenities, located in a pristine environment with fresh air and far away from the noise of the city centre. In less than two weeks, he sold the land for three times what he paid for it! What changed? Perspective.

Even if its foundations are laid in pain and solitude, success is self-announcing. After what seemed to be an interminable period of observation and waiting, one morning, we were greeted with the chirping sound of chicks. When we eventually looked out through the window, we saw our guest hen strutting around the premises with the realization of her dreams right before our very eyes. Six chicks were the testimonials and trophies of passionate desire, determination and staying the course! The waiting, the deprivation, the isolation, the hunger, the risks; all had been well worth it!

Success Avenue is a desirable place to be. But it will entail grit and guts. Several challenges dot the landscape of the route. But champions know that is part of the price to pay for the prize that is at stake. Success is not a walk in the park. If you stumble into success, you will definitely fumble out of it. Canaan is a land flowing with milk and honey. However, to drink milk, you must raise cows. And to enjoy the sweetness of honey, you must be prepared to raise and possibly endure the sting of bees! Great men and women know that Canaan is actually spelt W.O.R.K!

To succeed significantly as a leader, your desire to succeed must be far greater than whatever is designed to stop you. Protect your dream. Pay the price for its incubation. Use the available means even if it does not meet your expectations. Stake your claim on the side of hope more than you do pessimism. Ignore every circumstance that says “Impossible”. Simply change the notion by rearranging the letters of that word to read “I’m possible!”

Remember, the sky is not your limit, God is!

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