"Do nothing ordinary."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Henry, electrical technician for a paper mill in Manitoba, Canada, told Session 4B of the Leadership Development Lab:
"In the fall of 1995 while preparing for bow hunting season, I made a decision to try something none of my friends had ever tried before. I decided to build a deer decoy. After reading several magazines on how to do it, I purchased a 1’ x 4’ x 4’ sheet of Styrofoam. When the guys on my night shift heard what I was doing, what my plans were, boy did I get ribbed and ridiculed. They told me that I needed legs for my decoy. They made a long list of other shortcomings and reasons why the whole plan was flawed. I didn’t let their ridicule stop me; I just continued to carve and paint my decoy. Later, on my days off, I set up the decoy. I cut down small poplar trees to make legs for my fake deer. I used antlers from the deer I had shot in previous years, along with a really nice tail from a deer I harvested the year before. After about 4 weeks of work, my decoy was ready to put in place. I spent several days sitting in the tree stand. In September, the mosquitoes are really vicious and I had to fight to keep from being eaten alive. One evening, my wife and I went out to the stand. We were both up in the tree stand when we heard a
rustling in the leaves. My wife began to cough and I quickly reacted by rattling a set of antlers we kept in the stand to try and cover up the sound. Finally we could see a threepoint buck walking right towards the stand. The deer was focused on the decoy and never realized what hit him. I had finally gotten my first buck with a bow.
The lesson I learned from this experience is any time I am courageous enough to break with tradition, established, accepted ways of doing things, I can expect to be criticized even by my friends. I also learned that if I am going to improve my performance and get better results, I must break from tradition. This may have been how the Wright brothers felt when their ideas were first heard of.
The action I call you to take is when you have an idea that you believe in, even if people ridicule you, listen to and believe in yourself and continue pressing forward. We must break with tradition to get breakthrough performance.
The benefit you will gain is you will find that your persistence and determination will help insure that you achieve your goals, no matter what other people think."