Leaders Reach and Stretch

There’s a true story of an elementary school teacher who gave an assignment to her students to draw what they wanted to be when they grew up.

Many students started drawing themselves as doctors, firefighters, veterinarians, astronauts, and so on.

The teacher noticed a little boy in the back of the room just staring at his blank paper. She approached him and asked what was the matter. He said he didn’t know what he wanted to be when he grew up.

The teacher told him to think of someone in his life that he looked up to and draw what that person did for work.

The boy started drawing.

When the teacher looked over the drawings later that day she noticed the little boy drew a pizza delivery man.


The teacher reached out to the mother to ask about the drawing. The mother instantly knew what it meant.

“My son’s father has been in and out of jail. In fact, many of the men in our lives have been in jail at some point. The only male in his sphere who hasn’t been to jail and is able to keep a job is his uncle - who delivers pizza.”

This boy was dreaming of what he thought was the highest attainment in his life: not go to jail and deliver pizza.

Authentic leaders recognize of themselves they can do very little.

To spark a fire and create a drive not only in their lives, but also in their followers, authentic leaders look for mentors, for people to emulate, for goals that excite and stretch them.

Then they reach for those goals and dreams.

It is only by reaching for the farthest dream that amazing things happen.

You won’t attain beyond what you reach for.

Stretch yourself - encourage others to stretch. Stretching is where success occurs.


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