What Are Your Fences?
I don’t know about you, but I find that some of my favorite quotes come from movies that are made for the under-13-crowd. It’s highly likely that it’s because I have a grade-schooler at home, which dictates what’s playing on family-movie-night, but I think part of it is also due to the fact that movie-makers are better at ensuring that their work has a positive message when it’s made for kids. It’s really too bad more grown-ups don’t watch kid-movies.
One movie that stands out in my mind is “Chicken Run”. If you haven’t seen “Chicken Run” – it’s great fun with macbre-twist. It’s an animated stop-motion film about a chicken farm in the 1950’s whose nefarious owner decides to go from selling eggs to making chicken pot pies. As you can imagine, this causes quite a stir in the hen house and under the leadership of “Ginger Chicken” the hens work to plot their escape. Ginger throws out dozens of ideas – all of which are turned down:
“That’ll never work.”
Sound like a meeting or two you’ve attended?
Finally, exhausted and frustrated, Ginger looks out over the crowd of chickens – all who are facing their demise, but none who seem to have the impetus to do anything about it, and says (in a wonderful British dialect), “The fences aren’t just around the farm, they’re in your HEADS.”
And I thought…yes. Yes they are. For most of us, our fences are in our heads.
I see that with myself. In all my reasons “Why not…” In my need to be perfect before taking a leap. All the barriers I erect in my mind to keep me safe. Except they don’t.
And I see them in all my participants, in my colleagues, friends, and family – because of course it’s so much easier to see them in others than it is to look in the mirror.
I often say, when I lead a session, that if we can name it, we can do something about it. Our fences don’t have to be our demise. As long as we don’t pretend they don’t exist.
(Spoiler Alert!) You will be happy to know that the chickens did eventually find the strength, creativity, focus, and fortitude to make it over the fence. Yes, that was partly due to Ginger’s incredible leadership and her talent for bridging the confidence of every chicken on the farm. But she couldn’t do it alone. Each chicken had to find her own way to grapple with the fences – both real and imaginary.
What are your fences?
©OnStage Leadership, 2013
If you found this helpful, interesting, thought-provoking, or inspiring please “recommend”, “Like” and share. It is only through your generosity that we can reach those who may find it valuable too. My sincere thanks. Kimberly