Sense of urgency
Communication Blockers

Teachability and commitment


by Karthik Gurumurthy

In his book, The 360° Leader, John Maxwell shares a humorous story of a turkey that was chatting with a bull. “I would love to be able to get to the top of that tree,” sighed the turkey, “but I haven’t got the energy.”

“Well,” replied the bull, “why don’t you nibble on some of my droppings? They’re packed with nutrients.”

The turkey pecked at a lump of dung and found that it actually gave him enough strength to reach the lowest branch of the tree. The next day, after eating some more dung, he reached the second branch. Finally, after a fourth night, there he was proudly perched at the top of the tree. But he was promptly spotted by a hunter, who shot him out of the tree.

What is the moral of the story?

 BS might get you to the top, but it won’t keep you there.”

Growing or moving to higher level is about reaching your full potential as a person regardless of where you are within the organizational structure. 

Progress as a leader is made when you bloom where you are planted and remain faithful in the small things.

I work with junior tennis players who are enrolled in independent study programs. Some of them have very good ATP ranking. I have observed these boys and girls playing hard every single day. From time-to-time,  I chat with them about how many hours they spend practicing on a day-to-day basis. On an average these players spend 3-4 hours every single day working on themselves sharpening their edges. That makes them future professionals.

My mentor TD always says that people who work as an amateur makes amateur income and people who work like a professional makes professional income. That means to succeed, one needs to be a good student and learn all we can. A wise leader is on a quest to learn all he can. Henry Ford said, “Life is a series of experiences, each of which makes us bigger, even though it is hard to realize this. For the world was built to develop character, and we must learn that the setbacks and grieves which we endure help us in our marching onward.”

Leaders embrace learning through books, mentors, colleagues, and competitors. You can learn without leading, but you can never lead without learning.

Make yourself useful to others. You grow as a leader when you invest in the lives of others. The mark of a true leader is not in what he takes but in what he gives.

Churchill said, “We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.” A leader grows when he helps others grow.

Set high expectations. When you set high expectations as a leader you are committing yourself to growing beyond where you are today to become who you want to be tomorrow.

Let us all grow and move forward and make 2010 a year of significance.



Excellent artcle..Interesting anecdote of the turkey and the bull.

We make a living by what we get and make a life by what we give -- Beautiful play of words

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