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A Fairy tale: Part 1 – Are You Wild?

There is a very old Fairy Tale that goes something like this:

Once upon a time, there was a kingdom that had a vast forest. In fact, it was so vast that much of it was unexplored. One day, a man went into an unknown part of the forest and he didn’t return. His neighbors went to search for him and they didn’t return. The King sent troops to see what was going on and they, too, did not return. No one went to that part of the forest.

One day a teenager came to the King and asked if there were any adventures to be had in the Kingdom. You know teenagers; they think they are invincible and are always looking for adventure. The King told him about that part of the forest.


The very next day the young man took his dog and headed into the woods. They were walking around the edge of a pond when a big arm came out of the water and grabbed the dog. The young man said to himself, “This must be the place.”

He came back with his friends and they bucketed out the pond, which took a very long time. At the bottom was a wild man covered with red hair from head to toe. They called him Iron Johnand locked him in a cage in the King’s courtyard.

Who is Iron John? He is the wildness you are meant to have in your life.  The story suggests that for most of us, Iron John (or Iron Jane) is buried deep beneath the water or is locked in a cage. You might catch sight of him/her when she is antagonized and so grabs a dog or does some other thing that seems out of context and a bit free. But, generally, he/she is repressed and banned.

I would argue that most of us are much too tame. We are more interested in following the rules than in making our mark. We are more interested in not rocking the boat than in distinguishing ourselves. We are too fearful of losing the support of those around us to find our own path.

It is difficult for me to understand Mr. Donald Trump’s popular support apart from this idea. Americans are sick and tired of politicians who speak out of both sides of their mouths and say nothing. They are weary of weak and ineffectual leaders who seem willing to sell their soul (or at least their vote) to whatever special interest group coughs up the most money. At least Mr. Trump will speak his mind. At least he alone will raise his hand at take a radical stand. He seems a bit wild.

We may need a wild man/woman in the Oval Office. But, we need them to be running our homes, our businesses and our schools. We need people of courage and conviction who arewilling to thrive. We need people who have an opinion and who will stand up for that which they believe. We need to get the Wild Man and Woman out from under the water and out of the cage as quickly as is possible.



About Jack Skeen

Jack Skeen
Jack Skeen, founder of Skeen Leadership, has been coaching bright and successful leaders for close to two decades, spending thousands of hours addressing every imaginable leadership, business and life issue with wisdom and professionalism.

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