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Leadership: Water Off a Duck’s Back

Water Off a Ducks Back

People like to give me advice, mostly because I listen and I really try to apply good advice to my life.  I’ve always been that way.  People like to help, especially when they have a willing student.

No piece of advice has served me better than a lesson I learned many years ago from my older brother Dennis.

Older brothers like to mess with little brothers- it’s what they do.  My big brother could send me into a rage with a smile and a stare. Mostly, he was just trying to bait me into a wrestling match where he would quickly crush me and then take the opportunity to teach me something (my brother is wicked-smart).  One lesson had a profound impact on me:

Water off of a duck’s back.

“Try to be more like a duck,” he said.  “It’s easy to get under your skin and when that happens, you’ve been beaten. Ever notice how water rolls off a duck’s feathers?  If it didn’t, the duck would drown.  When people try to get under your skin, let it roll off you like water on a duck’s feathers.  It will go much better for you.  You’ll maintain your ability to think and you won’t end up in a headlock begging for mercy.”

If not now, when?

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