Let me paint a picture in your mind. You’re about to prepare a dish—your favorite dish—and you have all your ingredients ready on your countertop. Your chopping board, knives, bowl and other utensils are washed and ready to go. You have your apron on and your favorite genre of music is playing from your media system.
The interesting thing in this picture is that everything but the food you hope to end up with is ready. The food is not ready, but the good news is that it will be ready. The dish is going to be great as long as you keep to the plan of preparation.
In accordance to our ‘instant’ society, primed by instant noodles, instant coffee and on-demand TV shows, we have adopted a stance to process and preparation that is alarming and disheartening, at best.
Nobody wants to pay their dues in the dark any more. Nobody wants to sit down in the classroom of process. Nobody wants to bid their time in obscurity while they grow! Everybody wants to be a star! Everybody wants to be famous! Everybody wants to be known.
Just imagine getting up from the table before the surgeon is done with the surgery, or displaying a work of art that is unfinished. Imagine serving food that was not completely cooked. All of these pictures point to one theme: Immature Exposure. The patient, work of art, and food were all exposed to the public before they were fully prepared. They are no good unfinished.
As leaders, and followers, have we pushed to get some exposure before full maturity? Have we clamored for fame rather than seek the counsel of wise mentors? I know leadership is not learnt in a classroom, but leadership is mostly nurtured in private. The length of the shadow cast by the limelight does not measure the strength of leadership. Leadership is measured by the intensity of work that happens behind the scenes.
Many leaders drawn into the brilliance of the light have been killed by its heat. It’s time to build some strength into our leadership core. It’s time the boys got back into the house till they became men. It time we toll the line of David who killed a giant after he had killed a lion and a bear in the privacy of a valley no one remembers.
It is time to stay hidden until we are ready to be exposed. Remember being hidden is not being dead. Think cake in an oven or baby in the womb. Got it?