Mackay: We can learn a lot from the Easter Bunny

  • Article by: HARVEY MACKAY
  • March 22, 2013 - 5:06 PM

What’s not to love about a cheerful fellow who arrives with chocolate, heralding the arrival of spring after a long, cold winter? Whether or not you celebrate Easter, everyone can learn some fundamental wisdom from the Easter Bunny.

Much like Santa Claus, whose leadership lessons I wrote about a few years ago, iconic characters espouse many of the values and virtues we share. And although they may be associated with religious holidays, their messages cross multiple faiths.

A friend sent a list of lessons we might take away from spring’s floppy-eared rabbit. I’m not sure where they originated, and my research attributes them only to “anonymous.” I’ve plucked a few from the long list she sent, added a few of my own and expanded on all the ideas.

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Only an extreme risk-taker bets the farm. Develop your talents and skill set so you are able to adapt. Companies value employees who are flexible and versatile. Even specialists need a broad view to understand how their abilities can best contribute to the organization.

Everyone needs a friend who is all ears. The Easter Bunny knows that we can’t go it alone. We all need a sounding board, preferably one or more who will listen to our worries, concerns and crazy schemes and give good, unfiltered feedback.

There’s no such thing as too much candy. Don’t take that too literally. I interpret it to mean you can never have too much joy and happiness in your life. I recommend celebrating everything from a great round of golf to a lucrative business deal. Looking on the bright side doesn’t have a dark side. A positive attitude is better for you than sugar — and not as fattening!

All work and no play can make you a basket case. Take time to smell the roses — or the lilies, as the season dictates. Balance between work and play improves both. Your job performance will suffer if you never step away and breathe some fresh air. I’ve gotten some of my best ideas when I’m out for a run, and even figured out some of the mysteries of the universe.

The grass is always greener in someone else’s basket. Don’t be too eager to give up because you think you are at a disadvantage. For example, when I first started in business, I thought that when I became successful, I could finally coast along much like the hare in Aesop’s fable “The Hare and the Tortoise.” I soon discovered that the road to success is not a finite journey, but a trip I still look forward to continuing every day.

To show your true colors, you have to come out of your shell. Have a hidden talent? To borrow a phrase, don’t hide your light under an Easter basket. From the help-desk techie who organizes a company softball team to the factory worker who devises a money-saving process, speak up if you have an idea that could make your company work better.

Variety is the spice of life. Some folks like coconut eggs, others prefer Peeps. Check out the candy aisle and try to pick a favorite — that’s what makes Easter baskets interesting. Try something new every now and then to keep things fresh.

Do the bunny hop. The Easter Bunny knows the importance of exercise, especially aerobic activity. Get moving and you won’t have to worry about having some jelly beans now and then.

You don’t have to be big and scary to be effective. Is anyone afraid of the Easter Bunny? He/she is a lovable creature who is universally welcomed. Sometimes a soft approach is most appropriate.

The best things in life are still sweet and gooey. Success is sweet. Life is sweet. Helping others is sweet. Cherish the opportunities you have to enrich your life. You don’t need the Easter Bunny to help you appreciate that.

Mackay’s Moral: Let positive thoughts multiply like rabbits.

Harvey Mackay is a Minneapolis businessman. Contact him at 612-378-6202 or e-mail

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