The Little Drummer Boy is a popular holiday song that relates the story of a poor boy that heeds the call to visit the newborn baby Jesus and his mother. With no money for a fitting offering, the little boy, a gifted drummer, decided that he would play his drum as a present – and that he would play his very best. The song tells us that the very best gift of all was a God-given talent used in its best ability and given in humble servanthood.
This fictional account of a poor boy can inspire leaders along the path of their leadership journey. Here are three key lessons from the Little Drummer Boy:
As a poor boy, he was not gifted with financial ability and he knew that. While others may have had enough money for gold, frankincense and myrrh, he didn’t compete with them and seek the financial means to offer similar gifts. He simply wasn’t blessed with money. He was blessed with a musical talent. His talent was priceless compared to a grain of gold, a smudge of frankincense, or a crumb or myrrh.
As leaders, we often look around and see other people we judge as successful and seek to emulate their behaviors or their path. This causes us to minimize our own God-given talents in an attempt to mimic those talents we see in others. In attempting to mimic others’ talents, we aspire to goals commensurate with those talents. Doing these things causes us to fall short of expectations or even worse, reaching those goals only to have an empty hollow unfulfilled spirit.
This petite percussionist knew that his musical talent was a worthy gift. Moreover, he knew that the occasion was so important that it required that he do the best job he could that holy night. He played so well, even the animals were tapping their little hooves.
As we grow as leaders, it’s important that we recognize our own strengths and our own weaknesses. We must focus on those strengths more than we focus on our weaknesses. The leadership path requires that we know ourselves and continuously nurture our gifts before we can successfully lead others.
The Little Drummer Boy acknowledged his gift to the Virgin Mary. He trusted in his ability to play enough to offer it and he knew that playing his very best would be a worthy performance for a king.
We have to know our “magic” and use it for the goodness that you will manifest through leadership. We all have within us gifts that we must use fully and offer their use as gifts for those we lead. The gift of leadership