The Fifth Rung: Discovering Your Destiny

If a leader has made it this far up the ladder then they have remained focused on the goal. Reaching for and actually pulling one’s self up to it is a great accomplishment. To get there has taken all the leader has to accomplish the task. Here at the top the leader is to realize his or her future.

Others get to share in that breakthrough when the leader climbs up the character ladder. The achievement should be shared because the leader did not climb the ladder alone. Here at the top of the character ladder, is a place for all who followed that leader’s ascent. A greater award awaits the one who climbs the longer ladder.

Climbing the longer ladder with a leader’s character still in place is the best choice. It may have not been the easiest choice, but still the best. This happens at the right time though. At the top of the ladder, God reveals Himself. The leader has hopefully relied on God’s timing and not their own ability to ascend.

The joy of reaching the top is a great accomplishment. The celebration of that moment when it happens is a great thing. Much like a sports team winning a championship. Not only will the team enjoy that moment, but also all who helped and supported them will participate. The difference at the top of both ladders is how it happened.

While reading this chapter, I thought of all the athletes who play at the professional level. It doesn’t matter what sport they play the results are still the same. The individual’s leadership can be known. Some athletes have gone on to break individual records and could not accomplish it alone. It takes many to help them ascend to the top.

I have learned that it takes people to help the leader ascend to the top of the longer ladder.


Thrall, Bill, McNicol, Bruce and Ken McElrath. The Ascent of a Leader: How Ordinary Relationships Develop Extraordinary Character and Influence. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1999.


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