by Jennifer Tolle Whiteside
Disclaimer/spoiler alert: Includes a description of cruelty to a snake.
Last Wednesday night I found myself in my front yard with an axe, poised to kill a snake. My daughter was holding her cell phone in flashlight mode. I asked myself: How did I even get here? You know those times -- when you find yourself doing or saying something that you swore you would never do.
I love animals and find it hard to even kill spiders. I grew up with snakes. My Dad really wanted to be a herpetologist (but became an attorney instead -- insert your joke here). We had snakes (in glass containers mind you) throughout our house growing up. But this was a copperhead, and for gosh sakes our dog was bitten by one just last summer! Graduation is coming up, and our house will be filled with guests. We just have no room for a snake in all of this, and I was the person to take care of it. This obviously was something I could not put off, so I practiced once and then swung it like I meant it. And then I screamed! And then I had to hit it again to make sure.
Being the boss is sometimes like this. Sometimes you have to be the brave one or do something you are not particularly skilled at or would much rather ask someone else to do for you. Sometimes you have to do something that is unpopular or that others may criticize. It’s not always easy, and sometimes it is lonely. I think this is another side of leadership.
Sometimes you just have to be the one to kill the copperhead.