This is a true story. I witnessed it with my own two eyes. I can not unsee what I saw and it is too good of a story to keep to myself …
It was a typical day for me. I began the morning in the office checking items off of my to-do list. As lunch time rolled around I decided to take my office on the road and I headed to a local restaurant where I knew I could order lunch, put on my headphones, get out my laptop and continue being productive.
I was tucked away in a corner booth and while I couldn’t hear what other people were saying, thanks to some really good noise-canceling headphones and a great playlist, I occasionally looked up to see how others were spending their lunch hour. I saw a few men and women dressed in fatigues having lunch together, there was an elderly couple having coffee and many parents were trying to get their young kids to just sit still.
And then it happened. I watched as a stranger carefully approached a table where a mom and a grandma were sitting. The stranger spoke to the mom and while I couldn’t hear what was being said their body language was full of hand gestures and their detailed facial expressions were enough for my jaw to drop.
You see, this restaurant has a play area for kids and it appeared that one of the kids pooped on the slide and another kid, this woman’s young daughter, slid right through it. Yep. How about that.
Next thing I know the mom walks into the play area and brings her daughter out and let’s just say there was no mistaking what was all over the back of her pants. So the daughter, and mom, and grandma packed up and left. I mean, it’s all fun and games ’til someone poops on the slide….
But this is life. There are those who try to ruin the party, those who want to make things difficult, those who try to slow us down, those who try to put up a roadblock to stop us but sometimes we just have to slide on through and deal with the mess later. I’m not advising that you go sliding head first into every mess you encounter, but I am saying that leadership can be very messy.
Let’s remember, leaders are willing to go where no one else wants to go, leaders are willing to take risks, leaders are willing to get dirty and sometimes that means we have to clear the path for those behind us by sliding through some really smelly sh*t.
Slide on. Lead on. It’s what we do.