I can see the blood start to trickle down my finger and the pain is growing as I keep my hand hidden inside the sand bucket. It's our annual crab hunt on the beach with the kids and grandkids in Perdido, FL, and we have just caught the biggest crab of the night. He is about the size of a small post-it note but mean as a shark.
I am cautiously knocking our prize catch out of the net into our bucket as Kyler looks up at me with his headlamp on. “Let me see him, Pops.” Blinded, I am trying not to let the crab get away, but he’s not going anywhere as he has a better hold on me than I have on him. With three grandkids gathered around the bucket to see the crab, I can’t show fear or pain, both of which are swelling up inside of me. “Pops does it hurt?”
I tried a quick little shake of my hand, but Mr. Crab just pinches harder. I’m trying not to panic as I use the net to push him off my finger which by now I’m sure must need 3 to 4 stitches and maybe a pint of blood. (Panic does funny things to our minds. Ha!)
The kids continue to grab the bucket and peer over the side inches away. Meanwhile, CeCe is already cheering for us to catch a bigger one and I’m not sure the ocean holds one bigger than the one on the end of my finger. Finally, I get him knocked loose without scaring the kids and ruining the crab hunt.
“Wow, it’s a big one, Pops!” “Yes, it is! Bigger than he looks!” Pops is supposed to be the leader here, and we can’t afford to lose the troops over a little pain and blood.
Just as I could not show fear or pain to my grandkids, as we grow our leadership skills, we must show courage in times of trouble or challenges. With exponential change, we will have times that we must make hard decisions and sacrifices for the greater good. Leadership is not about standing around the bucket waiting to see, it’s about getting our hand in the bucket to make a difference. But be sure to check the size of the crab before you stick your hand in!