Toy Box Leadership (Part 3) Play-Doh

Today we look at Play-Doh, that messy clay-like material that we've all molded, shaped and in some cases eaten in our childhood.

The metaphor is used here to show mentorship and it's value in the leader's life.

"The next time you're in a meeting take a can of Play-Doh....When you set it down, look at the material (you've played with) and one striking result will be your fingerprints all over the surface. When you allow people to mentor you, they too will leave their fingerprints."

As I read this I had to think if I had been intentionally mentored by anyone in my life. The short answer is no! I don't remember a time in my life when a leader took me by the reins and said "I'm going to teach you how to do this or that." However, I've been mentored by some great leaders as I've watched them and emulated them and their styles.

I've also been impacted by some poor leadership too and I can see some of their fingerprints in my life too. Luckily I've been able to minimize their impact in my life and have learned from those experiences.

"But you should never confuse mentoring with duplication. Good mentors do not wish to duplicate themselves"

This was a good reminder to me that in leadership we should seek to bring about the best in people and not necessarily duplicate ourselves and our styles in people. Great thoughts here.


Ron Hunter Jr. said...

Thank you for writing about Toy Box Leadership. I have heard from leaders around the world who have been challenged by the book. Jim, your writing cleverly captures key portions of each toy.

Thanks for being a great leader!

Ron Hunter Jr.
co-author of Toy Box Leadership

Jim Drake said...

Thanks Ron. TBL is one of those books that just clicks with me... I'm a visual
learner--and I'm recommending this to everyone that I talk to. I'm attending a CREATIVE
Leaders meeting in Nashville next week with 100 of the top "early adopters" in the field
of arts/worship. This book is on my must read list that each of us must compile.

Thanks for the comments!


Chuck Harris said...

great post. unfortunately, or fortunately i have the fingerprints of lots of poor leaders in my play-doh. the most beautiful thing is that God's molding is more important and His fingerprints seem to cover the others.