Like the horizons for breadth and the ocean for depth, the understanding of a good leader is broad and deep. – Proverbs 25:3
There are some astounding insights for us in this age-old proverb. I’ll make this quick, but as i read that sentence it jumped off the page and i began to dig into it as though it were a book all its own. In my mind’s eye we were racing down the tunnel of that sentence seeing the innumerable amount of truths and understanding that can come from it.
Here’s just one.
In leadership, it’s easy to make yourself broad because you can see all of the breadth that’s in front of you and it’s beautiful. You can spread yourself thin and stretch yourself to do more, see more, experience more, and know more people or more people know you. This is all the breadth of leadership and none of it is intrinsically bad. But what is concerning is that few can see the beauty of the depths of leadership. Just like few people can see the beauty of the ocean floor that’s miles deep below the emerald blue surface. When we look out to the horizon we can take in the sunset and look to the stars and see the beauty of the breadth. But very few have the ability to look below the water’s surface, take the dive, and swim the depths of the oceans to take in the beauty of what’s far below the surface.
But the willingness to take the dive – according to the proverb – is what makes a good leader. Not just the beauty of the breadth that’s right before him, but also the ability to strap on the gear, do the training it takes to dive far below the surface, and then the willingness to jump into the cold water and plunge far below to go where few dare to go.