• Walking With A Slow Walker

Posted by: kidhelper on Monday, February 13th, 2012


Walking With A Slow Walker

I was out shopping the other day and noticed a stressed child. Apparently, the mother was in a hurry. It appeared the mother was almost dragging the child behind her and the little girl was trying very hard, but fumbling, to keep up. With one hand above her head, I noticed how hard it was for those short little legs to match the pace of the mother’s longer stride. That mother was walking with a slow walker! Instead of the mother adjusting her pace to conform to the ability of her follower, she outpaced the child and made the child work harder to keep up, which was just impossible.

She should have been more encouraging to the limited ability of her child. Apparently, the mother was valuing the quick destination more important than the comfortable process of those shorter legs to get there. The end somehow justified the means.

In like manner, it occurred to me how the driven-ambitious leaders can run ahead of their slower followers—almost dragging them along. We need to learn how to adjust our pace to accommodate those that follow us. It is one thing to focus on the goal and get there quickly (even skipping steps), but quite another, to arrive at the final destination and discover that our followers are so warn out from the effort. Or it would worse, if we find out that no one is still following.

Here are some ten clues that your stride might not be right for those who walk with you.

  1. You might experience some pull back or resistance with your insistence. Take a step back to regroup and access your position.
  2. If you feel that you having to check back with too many people, you are probably too far in front.
  3. Present new big ideas tentatively, if you have spent a lot time working on it by yourself. Others might need more time to process and think with you. It needs to be a dialogue.
  4. Avoid presenting all of your vision and all of the details up front, save some thoughts for collaborative development later. The need to talk.
  5. Check on how the troops are doing. Are they battle fatigued trying to implement your ideas? Check in!
  6. Before you sound the battle cry to “charge,” be sure all your troops made it to the front line—no stragglers!
  7. Some new radical ideas need to be presented for a “trial period” or an “experiment.” You might say, “Let’s just try it and see how it goes!”
  8. Usually our followers need encouragement and affirmation, be sure you have some in abundance to give out. It improves the journey.
  9. Be willing to console and appreciate all the good efforts given by your followers. It helps the morale.
  10. Your communication needs to be close, if you are not carrying on a conversation, there is distance.

Walking together is like a hand-in-hand face-time conversation. Enjoy the walk!

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