Tomorrow, February 29, 2012, is Leap Year, or more literally, “Calendar Adjustment Day.” I enjoyed reflecting on the word leap and the wonderful images it conjures ~ athletes jumping, dancers soaring, children playing ~ leaving terra firma temporarily to travel to a new point some distance away. Translating this into a metaphor for leadership is an apt and easy step. As a leader, there are times when you must take a calculated risk and take action that moves you dramatically forward. David Lloyd George, Prime Minister of England from 1916 to 1922, said, “Don’t be afraid to take a big leap if one is indicated. You can’t cross a chasm in two jumps.”
Food for Thought ~
These words of wisdom brilliantly illustrate the point that leaders must sometimes make a leap. It may be a proverbial “leap of faith” in something or someone. It may be a leap in understanding and insight. It may be a bold action that’s required when conservative approaches would not suffice. The pivotal phrase in Lloyd George’s statement is “if one is indicated.” This is the critical third part of the equation. You must have not only the skill and the courage, but the judgement to know when and where to leap.
Question of the day ~
How often do you take leaps? What is your experience with the ones you’ve taken? Do you have a current situation that may call for a leap?
Part of a leader’s legacy is certainly shaped by the leaps he or she may have made, or didn’t make. Look before you leap, but don’t be afraid to leap when necessary.