The movie Forrest Gump begins when a feather floats out of the sky and lands at the foot of Forrest.
He reaches down and picks it up. It was his choice to do so. He could have left it lying on the ground.
If the feather is a metaphor for the opportunities that appear in our lives, then we as leaders have the ability to present feathers. We can leave feathers for others to pick up.
- Our business has a job that needs filling
- A volunteer organization has a board post vacancy
- An investment opportunity becomes available
- A friend asks for help
In each case, a feather (i.e. opportunity) is presented to another. In each case, it’s up to the other individual to decide.
- Do they pick it up?
- Or do they leave it lying on the ground?
Just because you have a great feather that you believe others will be crazy not to embrace, it’s still their choice.
Good leaders present feathers in a way that others find attractive. The feather benefits them. It’s irresistible. They want to pick it up.
But, it’s still their choice.
You can’t force another to pick up the feather. They have to decide. They have to pick it up.