On Green Apples, Cramps, and Diarrhea
Green-apple-leaders are hard, sour, and useless. The best they offer is cramps and diarrhea. They feel successful because they hang from apple trees. But really, they’re a pain.
You’re a green-apple-leader if you:
- Are consumed with desire. You feel good about the ache in your heart to make a difference but there’s no dirt under your nails.
- Console yourself with complaining. If leadership is complaining, you’re awesome.
- Know! Empty-headed green-apple-leaders have the gift of certainty.
- Compare yourself with mediocrity. It’s so affirming to focus on those who are worse than you.
- Congratulate yourself on past accomplishments. You repeat the same old success story. Everyone rolls their eyes.
- Let anger control you.
- Struggle to accept reality. Green-apple-leaders are great at half reality. La-la land begins when problems are out there.
Green apple leaders drag down and feel good doing it.
7 things all ripe leaders do:
- Own! Everyone who doesn’t own, blames.
- Accept reality before trying to change it. If you think this is easy, you haven’t done it.
- Always struggle, sweat, and get dirty. The armchair is for green-apple-leaders who’ve arrived.
- Concentrate on what can be done not what can’t.
- Define and step toward better. Green-apple-leaders struggle with safe issues they can’t change. Worse yet, they won’t move till the stars align. Perfection is their comfortable excuse.
- Think about how far to go not how far you’ve come.
- Open your grip generously. Green-apple-leaders are small-hearted, white-knuckled hoarders.
Unlike green-apple-leaders, ripe leaders generate optimism.
5 steps toward ripe:
- Never complain if you aren’t going to do something about it. Never!
- Always include others.
- Concentrate on how far you have to go, not how far you’ve come.
- Be a learn-it-all not a know-it-all.
- Grow others.
All leaders are part green. Those who don’t know they’re green give people cramps and diarrhea.
What marks of green-apple-leaders can you add?
Why do some leaders ripen while others stay green?
What an interesting metaphor for healthily developed leadership!
So,,, I guess this calls for a qualification on the old maxim ” An apple a day, keeps the Dr. away”, with….”as long as its not green!”
Have a great day!
🙂 thanks Lori
Great read! Thanks for this!
It’s a pleasure to serve. Best for the journey.
I’m trying to help people do the same as well with my new blog I created yesterday. Hunt the good stuff! Check it out sometime.
Ripe leaders also must find a way to make green apple leaders palatable or they get rid of them before they spoil the whole bunch.
We can’t underestimate the impact of stomach cramps.
OK Dan my early upbringing on a farm in upstate New York is hitting me on this article. While I get what your saying, isn’t a green apple in most cases imature and still growing?? The exceptiion could be a Granny Smith as they are still green when mature. Even the sweet ones start out green, hard and sour. Hopefully most will mature into a “Red Delicious” somewhere down the road. Yes, there are those who will never become those tasty Red Delicious apples (leaders), I guess we could call them “Crab Apples”. Great post, thanks for the memories!!!
I’m a farm boy from Maine. Thanks for jumping in farmer Don.
Love the crab apple reference.
I think the point is to acknowledge we are all green and the problem is not acknowledging it. My job today was to shine a light on green apples. I see myself on the list.
What marks of green-apple-leaders can you add?
Why do some leaders ripen while others stay green?
Dan, I think the answer to both of these questions if fear. Fear is what keeps them stuck. Fear is what keeps them from trying new things. Fear is what drives their paranoia that someone will get ahead of them or steal their piece of the pie. And until they can manage their fear or at least stop being consumed by it, they cannot lead themselves nor others well.
I always respect your input. Fear keeps us green. That’s powerful and true in my life. Much appreciated.
Marks of greenies
Driven by a 100 forms of selfcentered fear
Hearing about the results of Truly Human Leadership and not watching the free video on youtube where Bob Chapman shares his heartwarming and inspiring story. Yeah that is the ticket!!!
Shocking people do not take one hour and nine minutes out of their day to check out something really cool. Shocking but a choice folks can make.
Just not open to listening but anything but what they think! Sad really God gave us this mind to THINK and all they can do is regurgitate old news.
I can only speak for me and what I do is remain incurably curious!!!!
I know I do not know! I know with 7% of my brain capacity and awareness being used NO MATTER what I think I know I do not know squat!!!! How could I with 93% of the available information needed to make a quality decision is not accessed can I even begin to arrogantly assume I really know anything? I accept I can’t. Not so bad once I got the hang of knowing I don’t know squat!!!!
I remain incurably curious and when something I do not know nothing about comes across my field of vision I figure God wants me to check it out. I don’t always know the reason till AFTER the fact.
End again with my favorite quote.
“There is a principle that is a bar against all information that is proof against all arguments and will keep a man/woman in everlasting ignorance, that principle is contempt prior to investigation”.
Herbert Spencer AA Big Book appendix to a spiritual experience
I abhor contempt prior to investigation and do all I can to avoid it. You?
Shifterp incurably curious back to the present!!!!
I particularly enjoy your first comment, “Close minded” Boy those two words roll easily from the tongue as a description of others. It’s seems the more I think I know the more closed I become. The more I really know, the more open I become.
I’m going to try and stay open today.
Fantastic and good for you Dan the good man!
One day I hope you watch Bob’s video and share with everyone here what you saw! One hour and 9 minutes! Not much to show you got no contempt prior to investigation!! hehe
Take care my friend!
“4.Compare yourself with mediocrity. It’s so affirming to focus on those who are worse than you”
Love this – I am definitely going to use “Be a learn-it-all, not a know-it-all.” with my students (and myself) this year. A lot…
Today’s blog is a big KA_CHING Dan, very nicely written and so evocative.
Other than the bodily reactions observations, which probably could be a whole other segment,
The apples/leaders painting is in full bloom. If I am not mistaken, don’t crabapples also have spurious, yet necessary role, as they do encourage cross pollination and hybridization, which all apples need. (I have some hybrid apple trees that grow the fruit close to the trunk, minimal branches and had to have a crabapple tree to make it all work.) They don’t do the work of making great apples, but probably do take some of the credit. From a distance look like any other apple tree/leader, but close up and at first taste, very sour and limited immediate use. So in a way, they have role of being a good example of a bad example for apples. Still trying to figure out to fit in that the crabapple wood is great for smoking meats…appears the leadership analogy fails me there….
….one faux Doc who didn’t stay away from all this apple talk.
Woah, Dan, let’s all just calm down here. That green-apple crap is starting to sound like me. The fact is we all struggle, at least internally, with some of those things. Thanks for the sharp reminder to ripen!
I really this: Be a learn-it-all not a know-it-all. There’s so much to find out about in the world, the minute you think you have the grasp of it, you realise you were looking inside a goldfish bowl. Sometimes that is disheartening, to think there is so much yet to learn, and what has been learnt seems pitiful and childish, but also it is exciting and inspiring.
Leaders ripen when they learn from their mistakes and move forward. Leaders remain green apples when they blame others for their mistakes and remain in the past.
Dan – I just listened to you on the Dave Ramsey EntreLeadership Podcast episode from 10/10/2011. I really enjoyed your interview and appreciate your perspective relative to recognition. Once I heard your interview, I checked out your Leadership website. Great content! I love the 5 steps to becoming a “ripe apple” in this post. FYI: I’m also on WordPress: http://kmalnati.wordpress.com I’d love it if you would check out my blog too.
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Dan as always a very insightful blog.
Here’s 3 points I’d like you to consider:
“Congratulate yourself on past accomplishments.” A great start for green apples to mature. Leaders need to know how to celebrate their accomplishments and to teach others to do the same. Now, to dwell on them does apply to a green apple leader.
“Always struggle, sweat, and get dirty.” Absolutely, getting in the midst of the muck, to stay attune with what’s current, and throw in 2 cents now in again is appropriate. The “struggle” part I take exception to. When a leader is in reality the struggle disappears.
“Concentrate on how far you have to go, not how far you’ve come.” The key here of “concentrate,” makes a difference. You need to know how far you’ve come to know where to start. Starting in the present makes a huge difference. Knowing where you’ve been gives you a solid foundation. Knowing how far you have to go starts with now. Taking your vision to the planning stage of where you are going creates momentum.
You make a difference in leadership, Dan. Your voice is being heard and I hope the green apples decide to follow your principles and ripen to red delicious. Ripened leaders inspire others to follow and I believe you are making that happen.