While on a beach vacation recently I learned something about saving baby loggerhead sea turtles. The Turtle Patrol volunteers monitor the loggerhead nests when the eggs are ready to hatch. At the right time the Turtle Patrol smooths out the path from the nest toward the ocean. It looks like an airport runway.

It is important that the babies find their way out of the nest and begin the trek on their own. The volunteers know the babies can do it but they make it a little easier for them by smoothing the walkway. Often the beach is wide and the trek is long, so the volunteers do not make the loggerheads go all the way to the ocean alone. As the path begins to flatten, Turtle Patrol volunteers are there to pick up the loggerheads and put them in a plastic bucket. After the volunteers collect the turtles that have left the nest to survive in the ocean, the baby loggerheads are brought the rest of the way to the sea in their bucket. The turtles are then carefully unloaded to take their first swim. It is joyous to watch.

That scenario reminded me how we all need a lift sometimes. Whether you are new to the role and just learning the path to success, or have faltered a bit because reaching the goal seems too far away, others can reach out with a bucket. A good leader observes their team members closely with confidence that we can accomplish our goals. If we falter, the best leader gets the bucket out and helps us the rest of the way. Once we reach the point of competence, they release us and we swim successfully toward the goal. All of us can succeed with a little bucket help every now and then.


  • Leatha Ritchie

    Leadership Development Writer and Coach at LPR Consulting

    Leatha Ritchie serves as principal consultant and owner of LPR Consulting. Leatha is a certified Gallup® Strengths Coach, facilitator of The Change Cycle™, with training in Coaching from ATD, and is certified as an assessor for Predictive Index. She has extensive experience in training and development of current and high potential leaders with an emphasis on training that accompanies coaching or mentoring. Leatha’s particular area of expertise is examining and improving new leader orientation, succession planning, and programs for good leaders to become great. It takes passion, resources, and direction to develop as a leader. Leatha’s articles and blogs bring tools, inspiration, and experience to the learner. Previous to this role Leatha served as VP Operations Leadership Strategy & Development at Bright Horizons, a leader in the early education field. Her roles as Regional Manager, Director of Regional Manager Development, and Division Vice President gave her unique talent in recognizing challenge and growing leaders to confront and managing through while improving the business. Often Leatha was tapped to assess challenging organizational situations then develop systems, resources, and provide training to improve outcome. This role took her throughout the United States, England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, and Guam. Leatha holds a bachelor degree in history with a minor in early childhood education from Meredith College in Raleigh, North Carolina, where she also received her Master of Business Administration.