I’ve written before about how I often find it easier to lead than to follow–and how there is much that I can learn if I am willing to allow others to take the lead. Today provided me with another one of those opportunities to learn what I can when I let someone else set the agenda.
It turns out that there is a Wednesday night climbing group in the area–well established, with many members, and a very dedicated leader. Today, my oldest boy and I joined up with this group and went off to a boulder area that we would not have had access to without being connected with this group.
We met up with a couple of other guys in a grocery store parking lot, threw our gear in the back of a pick up truck, and climbed into the rear cabin jump seats. We bumped our way along the road until we reached our site. We parked by a water tower and hiked down the trail toward the boulders.
And I did whatever the others wanted to do. I expressed no preference, made no suggests for which problems to try, or which boulders to explore. I just let other people lead the way.
It’s not a big thing, I know, but every time I put myself in a situation like this–where I realize that I don’t have to run the show, and probably couldn’t even if I wanted to–I end up gaining a great deal from the experience.
And the more I think of it, the more I realize that my challenge in following has a lot in common with my difficulty in receiving gifts and compliments. I’m fine with hosting–but what I need practice at is being a good guest.
Absolutely: there is a time to lead, and a time to strike out on one’s one. But there is also a time just to be along for the ride–and enjoy wherever it takes you.