The Little Engine That Would

The Little Engine That Would 

A critical doer is willing to lead


In my last post, I told you about plans to hit the archery range and do some yard work.  For my skill level, I shot pretty well this morning.  Yard work also went well because my youngest son, Jake, decided to give the “old guy” a hand.

I love hanging out with Jake.  Besides being a genuinely great person, he has a unique outlook on life that I find both entertaining and instructive.  After raking leaves, we had to move them to the curb for pickup.  We use a large canvas drop cloth like a sled to drag the piles of leaves.

Aware that I’ve started a blog about critical doers, he made an interesting remark as we trudged up the hill with a large pile of leaves.  He said “we’re pulling like the little engine that could…now he was a critical doer!”

I got a good laugh out of his observation, but it put me to thinking about the story.  The little engine that could was not the only engine in the story.  In fact, the story suggests that our heroic little engine may have actually been the least capable.

Given that knowledge, was the little engine appropriately named?  I don’t think the name should have been the little engine that could…it should have been the little engine that would.

Many times we encounter individuals with capability but they fail to do because they are unwilling to lead.  Like all the engines that melted in the shadows of mediocrity, too often people make the same choice that leaves immense capability unrealized.

What will your legacy be in your current situation?  Are you simply the little engine that could, or are you the little engine that would?  The difference comes in a simple choice of being willing to step out and lead.  If you think hard, you’ll find at least one opportunity to make the jump from could to would…and lead others to success and fulfillment.  After all, it’s what a critical doer would…do!

Updated: November 28, 2014 — 10:46 pm