Recently I started making yogurt. A common question is, “How do you make yogurt?” The process is pretty exciting, “You heat some milk. Then you let it cool a little. Stir in a few ounces of plain yogurt…” Then the interruption, “To make yogurt you start with yogurt?”
Um….yeah. To make chocolate chip cookies you have to use chocolate chips, right? The main ingredient for Chicken Cacciatore is chicken. I mean, I could on here, but you get the point.
I started thinking about the ingredients of leadership, success, and ability. We all have the ability to find our purpose and create. We have the ability to dream and grow. We have the ability to call upon our own ingenuity and build or improve something. Our natural ability helps us to adapt to change. Think about resisting change. were you off balance for a while? “Out of whack” perhaps? The decision to stay the course, adapt, or get involved to guide the process into something new and improved was all about your ability. Not to mention the ability to make a decision. The ability to forgive is more about releasing our own tension and misdirected energy than granting a pardon. That energy could be building capacity rather than fermenting. Fermentation works, but turn it into something good…beer… cheese, or …yogurt.
One of my favorite leadership guys, Peter Northouse, writes in his book “a person that has leadership ability is able to be a leader – that is has the capacity to lead.” What I find interesting is how/when we decide we are a leader. I say it is within the ability to recognize our own leader-ness. Ability is from within, it is our raw ability to make more. When did you decide you were a leader? What does that mean for you?
Maybe leadership is something we grow into over time. We start with a little glimpse of what we could be and keep building. A great way to expand our own ability is to help someone see his or her ability. We cultivate leadership. We grow leadership. Maybe it’s a little something that we see in the person they didn’t realize…or realize yet. Think abundance. Create more out of less. Be a person of increase.
Back to yogurt, you thought I forgot. It is true, we could add the live and active Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus. Or you could use a small amount of existing active culture yogurt and make more. It is a lot easier to spell (and find) yogurt than the italics words above too. You let it cultivate and ferment for a bit. The waiting part seems anti-climactic, it yogurts (poof now it’s a verb) quietly. However, the result is changing a little into a lot. That is abundance. The volume of the event isn’t the leadership. Our ability to create more for and with other – that’s leadership. How do you cultivate your ability?
A few quotes I could have worked into my comments…but I thought maybe I would just add them here.
“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill
“The last of human freedoms – the ability to chose one’s attitude in a given set of circumstances.” – Viktor E. Frankl