Rock is hard, immovable, heavy to shift.
Water flows, adapts and seeks to level out.
Rock is steadfast, solid and a great foundation.
Water can change radically when under certain physical conditions (eg steam and ice).
This discussion is not about whether rock or water is best. It is about asking what would you be like as a leader if you were all rock or all water? There are times for rock-like leadership and there are times for water-like leadership.
Standing fast on your values, making an ethical decision – rock-like. Being flexible and adaptable when challenged, and realising that you need to bend – water-like.
The ‘all rock’ leaders I know continually butt heads because they are unmoving, even when wrong. The ‘all water’ leaders I know are a pushover because they don’t know what they stand for.
There’s a time for rock and a time for water.
PS: I first heard about the rock and water concept at a high school. It is a program developed by Dutchman, Freerk Ykema that applies a physical/social approach to developing young people. More info is at http://rockandwaterprogram.com