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.