Leadership is often associated with business leaders, community leaders, military leaders, or government leaders.  The truth is we can all practice leadership and learn leadership lessons on a daily basis.

Here’s a quick example you will see in this fun story

While my wife and I were enjoying breakfast this morning we noticed a deer eating leaves in our backyard.   This poor deer had a horrible limp on its front leg and think it might have broken it as its foot was bent in an unnatural looking direction.

We wondered whether it would be able to get around very well, especially if there was danger nearby.  Think of the amazing leaping ability that deer have as they sail over fences, streams, and even cars – anything in their way.  We certainly see a lot of them and they do scatter quickly when needed.

Because of its lack of mobility (or maybe because our trees have tasty leaves), it stuck around in our backyard for quite a while.  We watched it for about 10 minutes just munching away on the leaves and cautiously looking around as there was a dog barking at it from the yard behind us.  I grabbed my camera and shot a number of close-ups of its face because this was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.

That’s when my wife said quickly, “Look! A bear!” Lumbering towards our yard from our next-door neighbors’ was a huge black bear.  Clearly we were not the first to discover this bear because he had a tracking collar around his neck.

Our earlier conversation about the deer and whether or not would survive in the wild with that bum leg was instantly present in our minds.  Well, that deer cleared any doubt as it bolted away, somehow on 3-legs, and disappeared.

I don’t think the bear ever really knew the deer was there – he was just out for a stroll.  Unfortunately, the bear’s stroll did not take him into our yard and he was too far within the trees for me to get any good pictures of him.

So what’s the leadership message in this little story? 

First, seize the opportunity.  I have some great photos of that deer’s face because it stuck around rather than quickly depart on his way through our yard the way most deer do.   While it was enough to enjoy watching, I was able to get some great close-up pictures that I didn’t previously have.

Secondly, don’t discount the underdog.  That astute deer had no trouble running into the woods, and I am sure when you are faced with your biggest challenges you find inner strength based on the occasion as well.  Remember that you and your team have the opportunity to rise to the occasion, even when things look bleak.

Third, enjoy the breaks when they come along.  In our busy lives, taking time to notice some things outside your window, even if it’s just for 5 minutes, can provide a nice relaxing break to your disrupted, busy routines and stressful lifestyles.  Even injured, that deer was graceful, beautiful, and fun to watch and had we bothered to watch the deer, we might not have notice the bear.  One of the attributes of Conscious Leaders is that they are introspective and curious.  You can find moments to pause your stressful existence and break your routine with opportunities to enjoy what’s in front of you.

That leads us to the forth, which is to embrace the unexpected.  I mean dang, that was a bear, and a BIG one.  In this case, the bear served to make my story more interesting and exciting.  In the business world, some unexpected event will change your plans (the deer we were watching ran away) but might also teach you something (yes, it can get away with a bum leg).

Go ahead and carry these quick lessons with you into your business day and your personal lives today.  You might notice that it was my being introspective and curious about my 10-15 minute experience with the deer and bear that led me to these quick insights that I shared here.  Truly, there are lessons in everything that we do.  See what you can discover today.