“Each of us is born with…”

“Each of us is born with a box of matches inside us but we can’t strike them all by ourselves.”

—Laura Esquivel, Mexican novelist, essayist, and screenwriter

Photo from changingmydestiny.wordpress.com

Photo from changingmydestiny.wordpress.com

I must admit that I watch reality TV shows. I enjoy those that involve living in remote areas of the world, where there are little or no creature comforts.

The fundamental necessities for survival include food, water, and shelter. Without exception, fire is another essential resource, needed to cook the food and sterilize the water. Achieving a successful fire is often a significant challenge and hardship for would-be reality show survivors. Almost always, success comes from the collective efforts of numerous individuals.

EXERCISE:

How can you spark and ignite the potential of others to more fully realize the fires that burn within them?

Who are the people in your personal or professional worlds that can and will play this valuable role for you?

#46: “Go to the people. Live with them. Learn from them…”

“… Love them. Start with what they know. Build with what they have. But with the best leaders, when the work is done, the task accomplished, the people will say, ‘We have done this ourselves.’ ”

– Lao Tzu, founder of Taoism

I have been a student of leadership for most of my adult life. I’ve always been fascinated by how leaders generate buy-in, alignment, loyalty, and shared vision. Lao Tzu’s quote points to a critical characteristic about leadership: people are most likely to buy-in when they have been actively involved in the creative process.

When people see their own ideas and fingerprints on the work, they have a sense of ownership that feels true and genuine.

Exercise:

Where in your work, family, and community can you draw on others to create the futures you desire? As long as you get there, who cares who gets the credit?

Quotes are posted on The Quotable Coach a week after being sent out by email. To get the latest quotes straight to your inbox, pop your details in the sidebar to the right.