Out of the mouth of babes

This morning, I told job Caleb to stop talking. His sister dropped her breakfast and what he was saying things that would get her worked up.

He looked at me and asked me, “Why do you tell me to stop talking so much?”

Good question.

I reminded him of the gasoline and water analogy our pastor told us. We approach every the fire of every conflict with a bucket in each hand: one full of gasoline, one full of water. It’s our choice which we one we pour on the fire.

I pointed out why I thought he was adding gasoline in this situation.

Frustrated, he said, “You seem to only comment on gasoline. Why don’t you comment on my water ones?”

He went on, “Dad, if you don’t see the water ones, you shouldn’t mention any of them at all.”

He’s right. 9 years old and he’s right. And I told him so.

Isn’t this a great leadership lesson? If we only point out the deficiencies, we frustrate those we lead.

While it’s great to try to prevent fires ourselves, it’s even more important to notice when those who report to us–or when those who look up to us–try to put them out too.