Leadership Problem: Grace vs. Enabling

Cut people some slack.  Really, you never know what kind of a day they’re having, how bad their insomnia is, whether they’ve suffered a major loss, or whatever other darkness they carry.

Paul had an iPod in class, and earbuds in his ears.  This is a no-no, and standard procedure is to temporarily confiscate it for the day.  I reached out my hand, and he gave me a steely glare and said “It’s mine.  I’m NOT handing it to you.”

Uh-oh.

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Attitude is not Everything. Listen to Batman and Focus on Behavior.

I love this quote from Batman Begins:

“Bruce, deep down you may still be that same great kid you used to be. But it’s not who you are underneath… it’s what you do that defines you.”

As a leader, parent, and trainer, I confess that I cringe when I hear someone try to pump people up with an “attitude is everything” approach.

While it’s helpful to our own motivation to have a great attitude, it is unwise to focus on the “attitudes” of others, especially as a “cure-all”.

Why?  Here are some thoughts:

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Using the Words “Around Here” Can Help Create a Vibe

My first boss was fond of saying this: “Most days, we have fun around here.”

The first time I heard him say this was in my job interview. He followed it up with “…and you can’t say that about most jobs.”

It was my first job, so I took his word for it.

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Leadership behaviors in “non-leaders” leads to organizational success.

Recently, I ate breakfast at the Starbucks on 86th in Johnston (Iowa) on my way to a leadership workshop with the Waukee High School Warrior Wrestling program.  As I drank my coffee and prepared the workshop, I would occasionally look off into space.  You know, to think.  But there was a display of funky-cool travel cups right in front of me, and I took a break to walk over and look at them more closely.  (Side note — I’ve been searching the world over for a travel mug that both retains heat very long and is dishwasher safe — if you find one, let me know.  Thanks.)

I picked one up to look at it more closely, and an employee appeared in front of me immediately.

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