Mommy, LOOK, she happily exclaimed, pointing to the butterflies in vibrant colors darting overhead. We were cautioned not to chase the butterflies or run on the trail, but often a butterfly would nearly light on her extended arm.
It had already been a long weekend even though it was 10 am on Saturday. Extended work hours during the week bled into the weekend and calls started early that morning. Another deadline loomed demanding Saturday afternoon attention, and the butterfly center was a brief, but deeply therapeutic, break from the pressure.
She hopped down the stone staircase urging me to rush after her. We cycled between staring down at the plants and waterfall and craning our neck to catch the butterflies soaring against a backdrop of sunlight crashing through the atrium windows far overhead.
I followed meekly, a servant to the force of her excitement and wonder, caught up in the warm dewy air and children exclaiming under oversized emerald leaves.
I did not direct our path. I did not lead the way. I did not suggest a timeline or itinerary. She tired of the spectacular capsule well before I would, and we wandered on to the other adventures in the adjacent museum, driven singlehandedly by her curiosity and energy.
Leaders need to be led.
Feeders need to be fed.
Healers need to be healed.
Protectors need to be protected.
An ever-increasing number of women are leading on so many fronts, they have no respite. They lead successfully at work. They come home and lead their children. They lead in churches or community organizations where they spend their free time. They even have to direct someone making their coffee.
Even the most successful leaders have to find time to be led. Those at the top of their game still need mentors and wisdom and time off stage. Leadership is a life cycle and part of it is stepping back to learn or be still. There is no weakness in asking questions. There is no punishment for letting someone else take the reins. There is no condemnation for allowing yourself a turn to follow. You may find the rest that will fuel your next challenge.