Clear, Cool Water

By John DeBoer  |  April 29th

In The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, our white-hatted hero, guitar in hand, rolls comfortably in the saddle to the clop-clopping of his horse’s rhythmic gait. He croons a familiar song, and it echoes against the hills of the wasteland vista—“… with throats parched dry and souls that cry for water, clear, cool water.”

Earlier, I wrote about the idea of leading self as the first leadership challenge and suggested a helpful assessment (energy profile) for initiating a personal dashboard. The gauges of the dashboard are impacted by the rhythms we have in our lives, rhythms directed to the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual aspects of one’s life. Simply put, if I find myself low in one of those aspects, what daily, weekly, or even monthly rhythms can I practice to lead myself more effectively? Leading self is the first leadership responsibility.

My most recent rhythm is to read and to write and pray with Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership early on Thursday mornings, one chapter each week. Ruth Haley Barton writes an incredibly honest, reflective, and practical book that shares her journey within the context of Moses’s leadership journey. There is loneliness in leadership. And this is not a bad thing. Our leadership loneliness can bring us closer to God. And it can bring us closer to leadership community.

Is your throat parched dry? Is your soul crying out for clear, cool water? Good. You are not alone. Pick up the phone. Or pick up the book. Pick up on prayer. Or reach out to your leadership cohort at Edvance.

Your leadership partners are eager to listen and help.

John can be reached at