Holding the Ladder

While putting up the Christmas lights with my son last weekend, I thought of this analogy.

Leadership and parenting is a lot like holding a ladder.

Eventually you want folks (whether they report to you or look up to you as their parent) to be self-sufficient, resilient, and courageous. You want them empowered to do the work they need to do in the world.

That means at some point you need to stop doing all things for them.

While teaching my kid to hang the Christmas lights, I realized he was unsure about the stability of the ladder, so I held it for him. From that vantage point I could also give him pointers so he could do a good job. And if he lost balance and fell, I’d be there to catch him.

Are you holding the ladder for those you lead? What does that look like for your particular stage in life?

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