While on a beach vacation recently I learned something about saving baby loggerhead sea turtles. The Turtle Patrol volunteers monitor the loggerhead nests when the eggs are ready to hatch. At the right time the Turtle Patrol smooths out the path from the nest toward the ocean. It looks like an airport runway.
It is important that the babies find their way out of the nest and begin the trek on their own. The volunteers know the babies can do it but they make it a little easier for them by smoothing the walkway. Often the beach is wide and the trek is long, so the volunteers do not make the loggerheads go all the way to the ocean alone. As the path begins to flatten, Turtle Patrol volunteers are there to pick up the loggerheads and put them in a plastic bucket. After the volunteers collect the turtles that have left the nest to survive in the ocean, the baby loggerheads are brought the rest of the way to the sea in their bucket. The turtles are then carefully unloaded to take their first swim. It is joyous to watch.
That scenario reminded me how we all need a lift sometimes. Whether you are new to the role and just learning the path to success, or have faltered a bit because reaching the goal seems too far away, others can reach out with a bucket. A good leader observes their team members closely with confidence that we can accomplish our goals. If we falter, the best leader gets the bucket out and helps us the rest of the way. Once we reach the point of competence, they release us and we swim successfully toward the goal. All of us can succeed with a little bucket help every now and then.