One question I am frequently asked is where do I get my ideas for writing my blogs every week. Well, it usually depends on the week. Most of the time, I see, hear, or read something related to education or leadership in general, and as I have said before… it gets me to start thinking. As I begin to think on the matter, my mind starts processing… is “whatever” a good or bad representation of education or leadership? And then, I start writing.


So… recently, I was reading John MacArthur’s book Why Believe the Bible and in one of the chapters, there was this graphic illustration by H. P. Barker (1896-1952), who was once a missionary who served in the West Indies….

As I looked out into the garden one day, I saw three things. First, I saw a butterfly. The butterfly was beautiful, and it would alight on a flower and then it would flutter to another flower and then to another, and only for a second or two it would sit and it would move on. It would touch as many lovely blossoms as it could, but derived absolutely no benefit from it.

Then I watched a little longer out my window and there came a botanist. And the botanist had a big notebook under his arm and a great big magnifying glass. The botanist would lean over a certain flower and he would look for a long time and then he would write notes in his notebook. He was there for hours writing notes, closed them, stuck them under his arm, tucked his magnifying glass in his pocket and walked away.

The third thing I noticed was a bee, just a little bee. But the bee would light on a flower and it would sink down deep into the flower and it would extract all the nectar and pollen that it could carry. It went in empty every time and came out full.

As I read that, I thought this is exactly what we see education and leadership should not and should be. The approach of each one, the butterfly, the botanist, and the bee exemplifies both educators and leaders. As we think on each one…

The butterfly educator or leader… They just fly around. Always being seen but never bringing or taking anything. Flapping their wings, wanting others to admire their colors.

The botanist educator or leader… They analyze everything. Always writing what they see, but never offering feedback, just keeping notes; using them only when needed (for their own benefit, of course).

The bee educator or leader… They invest. They get down in the flower. They work. Not to say educators and leaders are empty, but the bee draws from the flower, pollination takes place, and everything and everyone is for the better.

As we continue to lead, we know each type of educator or leader stated above. More importantly, though, is the question of… which one are you? If we are not the bee, then we are not helping others. Is that not what we are suppose to do first? When we invest, spend time, and form bonds, education and leadership are for the better. Be a bee.

Go be a great educator and leader today… Our future needs it…

Remember… Think Leadership and Be For Others…

©2021 J Clay Norton

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