I have long been an admirer of earthworms. Say What? The lowly earthworm, as it burrows underground, plays an essential ecological role. It’s activities throughout its 600 million years “in” earth have both enriched the soil and in some instances totally transformed it.
Most notably, they replenish the soil through their waste and open up channels for water and nutrients to disperse throughout the soil. Charles Darwin observed, “”of all animals, few have contributed so much to the development of the world, as we know it, as these lowly creatures.” Yet, there are no odes, songs or poems written for earthworms.
I propose an award and dare the first organization to create and promote it. The “Annual Earthworm” award would be given to a leader who has toiled incessantly to make the organization better. That person will not have sought recognition and is not necessarily a board member or a CEO but perhaps might be a staff member who has contributed in extraordinary ways.
There are far more “earthworms” than the flashy newsy leaders who usually walk away with the awards. That is what leadership should be about. Doing your best to serve by making the kinds of tough and important decisions that service requires. Next time you see an earthworm, take a photo and remember its importance. The song you write, An Ode to the Earthworm, could become the next big thing. You never know.