You Can’t Push a Chain

[192 words]

A chain is a handy device. You use it to pull a car out of the ditch. You can hoist a heavy item. You can use one to anchor a boat or secure a gate.

But can’t push with a chain. It will pull or hold but try to push and it’s pretty much useless.

People are a lot like a chain. When linked together they can be powerful, if you pull them and don’t try to push. You start pushing them and the links go every which way.

Too many times we try to lead folks by just pushing them. We’re in the back trying to get things moving and it rarely works well. All that shouting and cajoling and needling might move things an inch or two, but the bang for the buck is underwhelming.

If we stand at the front and start pulling, however, things change. Things snap into place. The effort is multiplied. The strength of the whole is unified.

In any role—parent, teacher, mentor, boss—that we want to help lead others, we would be a lot better off if we try pulling instead of pushing.

Barry Haynes
Hope church of Christ
Hope, AR

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