If you really think about it, most things that are as impractical as a fountain are not so widespread. What is it about fountains that captures us?
Fountains are symbolic—water represents life, and in a fountain, water takes on a beautiful ephemeral form—as a stream of droplets in the air, before they all crash into the pool below and are recycled again.
There is something poetic about the way that a fountain represents the circle of life—perhaps that’s why people throw pennys into them for luck. It’s like Karma mixed up with flying water droplets.
Ok, so what do fountains have to do with you? I may be stretching here, but I think you can learn from the fountain’s impractical popularity.
Fountains have water, but you have experiences.
You can choose to share whatever wisdom or experience you have with others, or you can bottle it up.
Let others learn through you and through your own example. A fountain captures our attention because each new spurt of water takes on its own shape and beauty, but also because a new stream of water begins even before the other finishes.
Share your stories, your feelings and your thoughts so that others may appreciate them and grow from them.
Let others benefit from wisdom that you had to acquire the hard way.
And yet, be careful not to take this advice too far. Fountains don’t exist to compete; they exist to instill a sense of peace and wonder. Your goal as a leader is not to become the most inspiring fountain of experience—it’s not about having better experiences than others, it’s sharing whatever experiences you’ve had.
We don’t all have the time to learn everything first hand, so sharing is the key to progress. You don’t need to be the famous fountains in Vegas and Dubai to share.
Finally – we can’t all be fountains all the time; we also need to take time to appreciate the knowledge and wisdom of those around. It’s important to be in the audience sometimes too (but thats a whole separate post).
Find a fountain of wisdom that inspires you, soak it in, and reshare it with your own audience.