Step Over the Pebble

“It is easier to imagine floating above a far distant mountain than it is to pick up one’s foot to step over a pebble in reality”


A particular and peculiar challenge for me as a growing executive is to balance the floating and the stepping. Which is why I adore this aphorism. And feel its truth – daily – with my team.

Leadership involves identifying the distant mountain – setting a vision that inspires the team, investors, and customers. This imaginative aspect is crucial.


There’s also the everyday grind. The small tasks that require attention, perseverance, and effort. The reality that must precede the dream.

Years ago, a mentor described a room full of leaders as so:

“You have workhorses…and you have to showhorses. Both serve different purposes.”

Ideally, you’d like to be the unicorn. The leader who will look out from the top of the mountain after high-fiving the team. And the leader who forged the path, step by step, pebble by pebble, to that mountain top.

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