An army of sheep led by a lion will always defeat an army of lions led by a sheep. This concept became real to me during one of my trips to the continent of the cradle of humanity, Africa. It was there, deep in the village lands of the African bush, that I heard a story that encapsulated what I have come to understand as the missing link in the leadership development process.
It was a sunny but cool day in the bustling, modern city of Harare, the capital of the southern African nation of Zimbabwe. I had just finished speaking in the conference center of the Harare Hilton to over 5,000 leaders. As the guest of one of the largest community organizations in the nation, I had been invited to provide leadership training and motivational sessions for aspiring and seasonal leaders. This was our last session after over seven days of presentations. At the end of the session, my host asked if I would consider going to another town to speak to an additional group of leaders who had asked if I would come to them. I gladly consented, and arrangements were made for my driver who also served as my interpreter and me to leave at first light the next morning.
We started out at six o'clock, and after driving for almost two hours, we finally left the modern city lights and were greeted by unpaved roads, dusty villages, and dense green forests. Just when I thought we were about to arrive, my driver indicated that we still had another two hours to go before we arrived at our village destination. Suddenly, I realized that we were headed for a safari experience. After another bumpy two hours through what seemed to be jungle, we finally entered a clearing. There stood a group pf children who suddenly broke into wild, excited chanting, as if they had just experience the end of a long anticipation.
An Army Sheep Led By A Lion Will Always Defeat An Army Of Lions Led By A Sheep.
As we came to a noisy stop, a group of happy men emerged from a large thatched hut. They were led by a gentle man wearing a welcoming smile and simple clothing. We embraced, and he invited me in to the grass-roofed building in which over three hundred men and women sat eagerly waiting for us to begin the teaching session. I was deeply humbled by the hunger and patience of these beautiful people, and I gave them my best. It was a joy to be so well received.
After these session, the chief of the village invited me to a special dinner in my honor where I was treated to cuisines traditional to village life and culture some familiar to me and some not. It was during this meal that the chief told me the story that taught me a lesson in leadership I will never forget.
To Be Continued............