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We Can Learn Plenty From Pencil and Paper

There is just something special about writing on paper with a pencil that transcends the test of time.  The beauty that comes from the simplicity of it is amazing.

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I have found that a pencil not only represents genius, but it also truly paints a picture of the complexity of leadership. Some of us are leaders, some of us are followers, and some of us are a bit of both. When it comes down to it, regardless of where we stand,  we can learn plenty about who we are from a pencil and a piece of paper.

“Pencil” or “Paper…” Or Maybe A Little Bit Of Both

We have all had amazing leaders and teachers that have impacted us and helped form us into the people we have become.  These amazing influencers have helped us find the paths we would later travel down in life. Many of them taught us to be leaders, while others showed us how to follow.  In other words, they either showed us how to be a “pencil” or a piece of “paper” when needed.

The Pencil: Very simple yet so complex.

A pencil… not that earth shattering right? It is such a simple tool, yet it holds within it so much power and influence.  With a pencil, an artist can create a masterpiece, an author can develop a timeless work, and a world leader can change history. It is an instrument of impact, and depending on the hands that wield it, the message it reveals can be remarkable. Pencils, however, become dull over time, losing the ability to put forth life changing work. It isn’t until they are sharpened that they can continue to achieve what they were created to accomplish.

I think that great teachers and leaders who inspire, encourage, and equip others each day, are “pencils.”  Whether it is a classroom filled with students, or a room filled with team members, the the person leading the charge is someone who wields great power.

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The Paper: The Unsung Hero

A piece of paper… not really that crucial is it?  By itself it remains blank, yet with a pencil at the ready, the possibilities are endless.  Paper is what allows ideas to be remembered, thoughts to be shared, and wisdom to be internalized. With paper, a student can become an expert, a team member can become a coach, and a leader can make a difference. It is what shares the art, spreads the message, and delivers the masterpieces many share each day. Without paper, “pencils” would be useless.

I think that students, team members, and those that follow a strong example, are “paper.”  These are the people who make leaders and influencers in any field successful.  They are the ones that not only follow, but lead as well in many ways, and they are the ones that often make the largest impact.

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Whether you consider yourself to be a “pencil,” “paper,” or maybe a little of both, just remember this simple lesson in leadership:

Embrace your students and those with whom you lead. Never forget the importance of the many “pieces of paper” that provide the chance to make a difference.  Without those who are the “paper” in our lives, we would simply be a sharpened “pencil” with nowhere to write.

[shareable cite=”Chuck Poole”]Without those who are the “paper” in our lives, we would simply be a sharpened “pencil” with nowhere to write.[/shareable]

Question: Are you a “Pencil” or “Paper?” What do you think is required in order to be the best example of both? CLICK HERE to comment

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