The Parable of Big Toe


Once there was a big toe that knew he was supposed to be in charge.

He had a small army that would argue, fuss and fight and push each other all the time.

He would look behind him and yell, “Hey, stop that pushing and shoving and get in line.”

They in return would yell, “We don’t want to, we’re doing just fine.”


He would question himself time and time again. What am I doing wrong with them? I just can’t win.

I told them I’m their leader; I’ve even tried to be their friend.

I am a failure. I’m a loser.  Big Toe was starting to unravel around the ends.


The next time he called them to attention he had a great idea. He thought that if he lined them up, maybe some kind of order would appear.

I could tell each of them their importance based upon their size. He got so excited he called a meeting right then, “Hey, come over here you guys!”


“I know lately we’ve been having some miscommunication. We seem to be a little unsure.

But let’s try something different. I believe I have the cure.”


“Toe #2: You are second in charge. You’ll stand right beside me.

You will keep us safe from all our enemies.

Toe #3: You have a place here too. As you are in the middle, I need you to be like glue.

Hold us together and keep us strong. With you in the middle nothing could go wrong.

Toe #4: Stand next to Toe #3. You are firm and supportive, just like a tree.

Toe #5: You are my best friend. You bring our balance even though you’re down on the end.”

You might be small in structure, you might be cute to some, but I know that without you our work couldn’t get done.”


Big Toe stood back and looked at their new line up and he was very pleased.

The troops even felt better as they now had order and their minds were put to ease.

Everyone now knew their position and they knew their place.

Big Toe had established himself as a leader and that put a smile on his face.


A note from me: I wrote this poem last week. I was inspired from looking at my own toes! Leadership is a huge lesson to master. It doesn’t come from screaming and shouting. It comes from leading by example and being organized. If you have a problem with the team, group or office that you are in charge of, look inside yourself first.


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