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Growing Wings

Jodi was introduced to me at a networking event by one of my friends.

My friend said to Jodi, “This is Kris, she’s my coach. You need to tell her about your dream.”

This is not an uncommon introduction. Only if the dream in question happened while sleeping would I be surprised. I greeted Jodi, and she began sharing a dream of creating a non-profit that would use her love of horses, and her passion to help others, into action - and maybe even an income producing job someday. After sharing with me, I simply responded, “Jump and grow those wings on the way down.”

“Jump and grow those wings on the way down.”

If you’ve spent much time with me during a workshop, training or coaching - well….. Quite honestly…. If you’ve spent much time with me (period) - you’ve probably heard me say these words. They’ve become my motto. They spur me into action - even when I don’t know what the next step is…. Even when I’m feeling waaaaaayyy out of my comfort zone. This was a phrase I learned when I first joined the John Maxwell Team (Thanks Paul Martinelli!).

I had another friend (yes. I have several friends!) push back on me with the phrase recently and it made me think. She mentioned that some people would take the phrase too literally. Perhaps I should consider something about jumping with a parachute - an analogy for the resources needed to equip me/someone for the jump about to be made. Afterall, you want to know who packed your parachute and that it was done correctly! You want to have the right resources at the ready when you jump.

I liked the thought of a parachute representing equipping. Leadership Harbor talks about Model, Focus, and Equip all of the time. I’m ok with my friend wanting the parachute. Then I thought about the differences. I discussed the phrase with Brian and our daughter, Mandy. We enjoyed a great conversation as we took a walk on one of those April spring/summer Nebraska days.

Here’s what we came up with….

A parachute takes you safely down to the ground after jumping. Wings allow you to fly up, down and up again. Wings take you places you dream about.

Is it scary? Of course it is!

Is it difficult? Everything worthwhile is up hill, so yes! (a John Maxwell quote by the way)

Momma birds help their babies move out of the nest, making them move and flap their wings to get to their food. Eventually momma bird gives the baby a shove. The babies rely on their motor memory to flap their wings. Guess what? They learn to fly after the jump. Have you ever watched a bird flying across the water? The grace and beauty of the sight always make me smile.

There are days I want to get a bit grounded. There are days I feel stuck up in the tree - too afraid of the next move to jump. Yet Every. Single. Time. when I jump, I learn more confidence. I gain more influence. I unlock my potential AND the potential of my teammates (because I’m Modeling).

When we Focus on where we want to go - down to the ground below or up to a higher tree - maybe even the tallest mountain - our energy helps us get there.

The Rest of the Story

My now friend, Jodi, did jump and grow her wings! And she continues to do so. The only way to find out if the dream is worthwhile is to Jump and Grow those wings!

It’s always more fun to jump with a thinking partner. They are the one’s helping you correctly pack your parachute and may be carrying it for you - although we will use our wings as well. You certainly wouldn’t want it to get in the way of those growing wings!

Leadership Harbor wants to go along on the jump with you. If you have any questions, please email us at or fill out the Discovery Form questionnaire.

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