A turtle sounded like a good idea. We were a month away from having our baby boy and we decided our 7-year-old needed a pet because it would make him feel important, loved, and give him a sense of responsibility. Like all parents we knew he would be thrilled to feed it, clean its tank, and play with it every day.
You can probably see where this is going. The turtle was fed regularly, and played with a few times, but much of the responsibility was overlooked. Overlooked isn’t the right word, it was passed on to my wife and me.
Several times a month the turtle needed its tank cleaned. The water filter had to be rinsed, and excess food that settled on the bottom of the tank had to be fished out.
It was for the most part horribly disgusting.
Leaders take responsibility. It is one thing when you’re 7 and you have a turtle you promise to love and care for but can’t seem to build in the time. Caring for and playing with his turtle just wasn’t his thing, but he gave it a good go.
It’s another thing when you’re a leader with many years of experience and won’t step up and take responsibility for your own actions.
Byron Davis, World Class Olympic swimmer said: “the fear of success is really the fear of responsibility”.
There are too many people that fear success and therefore fear responsibility. This fear can cause dreams to go unrealized and true potential to go unnoticed. “What might have been” becomes just that, an afterthought.
If you lead a 7-year-old or a team of professionals, don’t let the fear of responsibility get in the way of your success. Do what’s right and be bold in your decisions.
Our boy decided the more responsible thing to do was to give his turtle to someone who could care for it better than he could. That, in my opinion, was fearless.