Have You Seen the Yeti?

Bigfoot statue

A couple weeks ago, my article was on the Magic of Seeing the Unseen. This week, once again, the focus of my article is on seeing, seeing the Yeti to be exact. Have you seen him, or her, or it? Do you even believe in the Yeti?

The Yeti is believed, by many, to live in the cold, remote reaches of the Himalayan Mountains. Depending upon your point of view, the Yeti is a myth, legend, or manufacturer of coolers and tumblers (okay, I couldn’t resist!). The Yeti is really a cold-weather cousin to Sasquatch of the Pacific Northwest, right?

Well, I haven’t seen the Yeti. But I did his cousin, Sasquatch (or Bigfoot). In fact, he apparently resides in Altoona, Iowa just off I-80 at a restaurant called, you guessed it, Bigfoot Bacon and Brew. That’s him pictured above. Handsome isn’t he? He stands about 8 feet tall and greets all patrons to the restaurant although he’s uncomfortably chained to the ground to prevent souvenir seekers from stealing him in the back of their pickup truck. For what it’s worth, I had an absolutely delicious bacon burger accompanied by onion rings at Bigfoot’s haunt. If you’re in the area you should check it out.

Spending 30 minutes visiting Bigfoot in Altoona was a nice break on my drive from Lincoln to Chicago. And I was hungry. By the time I stopped it was 2pm and all I’d had that day was 3 cups of coffee. And, come on, it’s not every day you get to spend time with the Yeti’s cousin, Bigfoot. Who knows, perhaps it was actually the Yeti without his layer of hair-covering frost, a de-frosted Yeti so-to-speak.

Spoiler alert: I don’t truly believe in the Yeti or his cousin Bigfoot. But it makes for a nice picture and ties into this week’s story and leadership lesson. Here it is in a nutshell: If you look for the Yeti, you might find him. If you don’t look, you never will. As a leader, if you look around for talent, you might find it. If you don’t look for it, you’ll never see it. Of course I’m sure you already know that!

The Yeti and Bigfoot may or may not exist. But one thing is for certain, there is talent around you. Look for it. It’s there. Through the process of “shaping” Sea World turns any Orca into the next “Shamu.” By the process of “shaping” great leaders turn others into the next generation of great leaders.

I’ve been fortunate to know many world-class leaders who have personally shaped me through their hard work (‘blood, sweat and tears’ if you will), their role-modeling, their coaching, and their belief in me. In some cases, prayers were, I know, part of their success formula as well. But in the end, world-class leadership begets world-class leadership. My wife calls me the “king-maker” (or “queen-maker”) because I’m passionate about seeing people and developing talent. But it starts with seeing the Yeti or Bigfoot. And to see him, you have to look, to be intentional. That’s what great leaders do. Without clay, there is no pot.

Hope you have a great week. Look for the Yeti in your organization. Is Bigfoot on your team or in your family? You have to look. Be intentional. And when you see her (or him), make the investment. Shape. Coach. Develop. Grow. You’ll be glad you did. Build a legacy of finding and developing great leaders. The next generation of Yetis!

Dr. Robert Gerwig is an agent of change and is able to balance the needs of the business and the needs of people. Dr. Gerwig believes and practices the values of performance and delivery of business metrics while simultaneously developing and growing people into leaders. You can contact him at RobertGerwig[at]LeadStrategic.com.

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