They stood, noses pressed to the glass, watching.

A bit of shell fell off. The egg rolled around the incubator. Then it stilled. Little by little, a crack grew across the top of the egg. More bits of shell fell off.

A minute or two passed with no movement. Several children, also watching, grew bored, wandered to off. My girls, though, strained to see. “Is it moving, Mama?”

After a few minutes, they could see bits of matted down fluff through the translucent parts of the shell. They waited, watching. And then, suddenly, the crack on the top of the egg grew wider.

Over several minutes, the chick emerged from the shell, little by little. Its movements: slow, labored.

I heard one boy ask his dad, “Is it dead?” It looked dead. Its yellow-brown feathers were wet, its neck drooped.

But every few minutes it would move just a little bit more.

The dad kneeled to talk to the boy. “It’s not dead; it’s tired. Hatching is hard work.”

Hatching is hard work.

Becoming is hard work.

Any time you start something new, or look to change your life, the process is the same. You summon a lot of effort and energy to work toward your goal. Sometimes the results are barely perceptible.

You start and stop. You get tired and have to rest along the way. You may feel defeated, look defeated.

If you are intent on the becoming, though, you continue on, however slowly, until you emerge new, changed.

What about when we’re helping someone else emerge? As leaders, we may have the opportunity to help others leaders as they become who they are meant to be. We may be impatient, grow tired of waiting, of watching.

Please remember, hatching is hard work. It takes time. But the time and wait are worthwhile.

This was originally posted at Mountain State University LeaderTalk and is re-posted with permission. 

Filed As:  LeaderTalk, hatching

About Becky Robinson

I am the owner of Weaving Influence and the leader of the Weaving Influence team. We help authors and thought leaders grow their online influence. I am also a wife and mom of three daughters, and I enjoy running, reading, writing, a good cup of coffee, and dark chocolate.

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What People Are Saying

  • Thank you for a delightful post. Becoming IS hard work! But it’s worth it.

  • Wonderful post, Becky!
    I especially like how you were able to transform an event with your girls into an important message for leaders.
    Sonia Di Maulo

  • Love this! “Hatching is hard work.” Great reminder for all of us.

  • Absolutely beautiful and powerful analogy, Becky. It’s so true that anytime we want to become something more than we are, real effort is required. So if we have someone in our organization who’s making a concerted effort to grow and “become,” as leaders we must encourage and be patient as the process unfolds.
    The video shows just how hard it is to hatch – and that’s just the first part of life!

  • What a gripping and powerful post Becky. Yes, becoming is hard work but so worth it in the end.

  • Becky, thanks for an excellent post. This is one of those simple, elegant, loaded posts that really makes me think.

  • ‘Becoming’ is what needs to be coached. Who they are and who they were is the wrong focus. Another post on this topic here:

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