Piss My Pants

Lately I have been thinking a lot about leadership and what it takes to really be a good leader. My dad says that the definition of a leader is someone who has followers. He quickly clarified that that isn’t exactly what a “good” leader is, but just what a leader is. I agree. Just because a person has followers doesn’t mean they are a good leader and similarly just because people do what I ask them to do doesn’t mean that I am doing a good job. Real leadership, as I am finding much after the fact, has a lot to do with touch and with respect. It truly does require a person to be a follower and also a servant. I say this because after being a follower, I have a much different appreciation for being a leader and also after being a servant I have found much more about what leadership really is.

The Haunted Trail this year was the first time in three years that I have not been in charge. Chase took control this year and ran a very well executed and very successful Trail while I played the role that Josh McKinnon had come to fill in years past. Chase was the leader on the outside of the Trail, observing all participant activities, organizing groups and assisting us on the Trail but not watching over the volunteers inside the woods. This was my job. I shared it with Matthew on both nights and David on Sunday night, but all the same it was a daunting task. We ran up and down the trail between every group and we checked to make sure everyone was okay. They needed water, food, flashlights, bandages, ideas, fixes on chainsaws, oil in torches, advice on their positions and encouragement (though they wouldn’t tell you they did). It was a wonderful job but both nights I was completely pooped. The inside of the trail, as I learned this year, is a job all to itself and I now have a much greater appreciation for Josh than ever before.

When I get a chance to serve other people and ask how I can help them, it is amazing to me how quickly I can get overwhelmed yet feel totally calm and in control. “It seemed like nothing could get to you,” Whitney later told me. It wasn’t that exactly, it’s just that I love it. I get to help people, run around like a mad man in the woods, watch people get the crap scared out of them, take their money, give it away to children and eat pizza in the pitch black. I watched people become screaming babies and others become demonic screaming clowns. Nothing gets to me when I’m doing the Haunted Trail because it is freakin’ awesome. But then again, nothing gets to me like the Haunted Trail because, well, it’s freakin’ awesome. It melts my heart to serve as a leader and help other people raise money for children in our community. Then again, if it didn’t melt my heart, I’d probably just piss my pants like everyone else.