Five Frogs

A Tale of Five Frogs

Dave Kinnear1-On Leadership, 3-LI, Blog

Today, I want to talk about something that’s been on my mind for a while. In the mid-1100s, the French Abbot Bernard of Clairvaux first coined the saying, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” Well, let me tell you, that saying has rung true in my life more times than I care to admit.

But enough about me, let’s talk about you. Have you ever had a great idea or set a lofty goal, only to find yourself months later with no progress? Yeah, me too. That’s why I want to share a story I heard long ago. A tale about five frogs.

So, picture this: you’re out for a walk in the woods and stumble upon a serene little pond. A log is in the middle of the pond, and five very smart frogs sit on that log. Four of the frogs decide to jump into the water. How many frogs are left on the log?

Most people would say one, right? But here’s the thing: we don’t know how many frogs are left on the log. Why? Because we don’t know which frogs followed through on their intentions! You see, intentions are great but don’t move us toward our goals—that constitutes hell. Action is required to reach our goals and follow through with our intentions.

A second meaning to that phrase is that our good intentions can sometimes trip us up. For example, in our frog story, a frog jumping into the water may attract the attention of a hungry Heron. That frog might end up as breakfast!

So, my question is this: after all the planning, strategizing, and vision-boarding, how do you ensure that your good intentions turn into actions? How do you hold yourself and your team accountable for following through? Do you lead your team through possible consequences for implementing your intentions?

These are tough questions, I know. But they’re important ones. Because at the end of the day, it’s not about what we intend to do - it’s about what we actually do and what results are achieved. So, let’s strive to be the frogs who jump into the water and avoid the Heron. Let’s not be those who sit on the log. Thanks for listening, and I’ll catch up with you in the next post.