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One-Bullet Leaders

Determining what the novice does well, and training him to do it.

My voice came out louder than intended: "How hard can it be to plant a couple of rows of stupid flowers?" I sheepishly looked around our little church kitchen to see if anybody had slipped in unannounced, as I complained to my wife.

Standing there, I felt like Andy Taylor, small town sheriff, pouring out his problems to Helen Crump, the only competent person in town—besides Andy of course—and the only one capable of understanding the mangy menagerie Andy had to put up with.

My Miss Crump cocked her head to one side, listened carefully before responding, allowing me to blow off some small church (or perhaps small pastor) steam. When she spoke, though, schoolteacher Helen's words were filled with compassionate wisdom: "Sounds like an opportunity to grow some leaders."

Looking just like Andy, I shook my head from side to side, kicked an imaginary pebble, muttered, "I don't know." I was working hard not to admit that she was right. Again.

"But for Pete's sake," I countered, "I've got Barney Fife ...

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