Ron's Material Leadership Blog

It is my sincerest hope that the stories I share are helpful to others. I have experienced first hand that many people toil in obscurity, searching for answers, ashamed to reach out and ask for help. This blog will contain experiences and wisdom that I have gained over the years that I hope will offer guidance in dealing with some of life's challenges.

Why the name material leadership? If you are curious the answer is on my website.
The link on the side bar.

Lead well


Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Have You Ever Wanted to... Roar?

Have you ever wanted to roar?!

A couple of weeks ago I posted an article called Are you a Leader? This was a deeply personal post as the practice of leadership development resonates at the core of who I am. I believe this to be my calling. I find no greater joy in life than giving of my gifts to others. This article and the one following it, Sacrifice, were written shortly after I discovered my mother has been diagnosed with cancer. This is round two for my mom. She beat it the first time, this time round the stakes are much higher.

This is a troubling time in my life. My parents raised me to be fiercely independent and self reliant. They taught me to have a tireless work ethic and uncompromising integrity. Ironically all these behaviors, now well set, led me (and two of my sisters) to live thousands of miles from home in successful professional roles. In a time of great need this wonderful matriarch now finds her children scattered around the globe. When she needs them most, her children are not there.

My last two posts were driven by the internal conflict I face as my core values fight for rank order. How can my values of teaching and integrity (the foundation of my own desire to lead) measure up against my values of family and faith. I wrestle with these daily. What price am I willing to pay to lead? How much is too much? How can I live a leader’s life and care for my parents in their time of need?

I don’t know the answer here. I just recognize the conflict. I believe that faith and family will win the day but how and when. I have put in God’s hands.

After writing these two posts I have prayed much and talked to many wise friends. In these conversations a clear theme came forth. It is characterized by a question. Have you ever wanted to roar? I do not yet understand why it came forth with such peculiar timing just that it did. I believe it will connect to the story I am living but I as of yet do not understand how.

Have you ever wanted to roar?

Did you see the Movie The Lion King? Do you remember Simba climbing Pride rock after defeating Scar? What a poignant moment as Simba lets out a kingly roar. It is immediately answered by the roar of his pride, his loyal subjects. He again lets out a roar. Simba has come of age. The boy who struggled to roar early in life when he needed it most has now matured.

Do you remember Braveheart? After the battle of Sterling Bridge standing victorious, exhausted and blood stained, William Wallace lets out a tremendous scream of victory. His scream is met with a roar of screams from his men. Again he screams out in victory. The Scottish rebellion has now come of age.

Have you ever wanted to roar?

I believe there is a lion deep within every would be leader. I believe that each of us is called to a noble purpose and if we chose the brave path, one day the opportunity to roar will be upon us. Perhaps in the moment it will be instinctual, perhaps natural, perhaps forced. Regardless, one day a leader will have the chance to roar. I suppose this is where the story connects to the struggle I face. I know that I am here for a purpose, I do not believe I have yet found it. So each day I prepare, make choices that keep me distant from my family, leading the life of a learning leader. Honing my craft, improving my capacity, living my life in preparation. This for me is leadership development up close and personal. It is a commitment to a promise. A promise that one day I too will roar for a great cause.

Thanks for listening.

Lead well



Dan King said...


Great post Ron. This is something that I can connect with personally as well. I also feel like I am just waiting to burst forth with a load roar. Sometimes I feel like "management by God" is what is going to bring me to that point as it is the result of a life of learning and passion in a certain area.

Great post! Thanks!

Dan King

ALO said...

Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your mother. We can all understand the sentiments you put forward here...while they are different for everyone, that wish to "roar" is what sets us all apart. It may sound funny, but...everyone roars a little different. And when handed tough situations in life, it is a good thing to know that there are others sounding off with us.

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The Dip by Seth Godin

This was the first of Mr. Godin’s books I have read and I must say it will not be the last. I enjoyed this book and found its message wise and on point for our age. The premise of the book is that there is a time to quit a role, project, effort and a time to stay. When we have the opportunity to be the very best and are willing to pay the price, it is time to stay. When it is clear that staying will result in mediocrity or worse yet (Mr. Godin’s term for a dead end) a cul-de-sac, it is time to move on to something where we can be our best. The dip is the place in between. The place where we face opposition, adversity and discouragement. It is here that many wrongly chose to give up when greatness is not that far away for the brave souls who persevere.

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