In his blog post, How to Inspire Others to Fly, Dan Rockwell shares his thoughts on “what makes helping helpful” in the great leaders’ development of those whom they serve. His message and conclusion is: “Effective helping includes rising above the need to be needed.”
He captures this in a simple story of how baby bluebirds grow from birth to flight in a brief period of three weeks:
Before they are ready to fly, they require constant care and feeding. Eventually they peek at the world through the small round door in their home. Parents fly to the door with grubs and bugs. We hear the young going nuts. But at fledging time, mom and dad shift tactics.
No food: Bluebird parents land at the door WITHOUT food at fledging time. We still hear crazy chirping but the parent pauses and flies away.
Eventually daddy bluebird perches nearby with a juicy meal dangling from his beak. While daddy coaxes the young from the white birch, mommy demonstrates the desired behavior. Over and over she flies from the birch to the house and back to where daddy dangles the bug.
In the beginning, the parents are helping their young grow. At a point, they then shift their pattern to instigate growth in the next state of their development. As a practical example, he writes: “Maybe you’ve been showing up in someone’s office to check-in. Now it’s time for them to show up in your office.”
Rockwell’s message underlines the importance of the need to change in the development cycle. The great leader changes first… “when others are ALMOST ready to fly.” It is at that beautiful moment when learning becomes reality, when helping “rises above the need to be needed.”
Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!