Brace yourselves – I’ve got another life lesson based on footwear.
I’m in Minneapolis this week for work and leaving the airport found inspiration for today’s post. (There must be something magical in the air out here. A prior trip provided this nugget.) Monday was a travel day. More importantly, a travel day that started in the snowy, slushy, salty, sloshy mush of a Syracuse blizzard. A trip to the Syracuse airport that should have taken less than 20 minutes took almost twice that. While I’ve brought my new pink sneakers (because I always people to know Where I Stand) I didn’t want to expose them to that slushy, salty… you get the picture. My travel footwear of choice? My good old Doc Martens.
This might be a bit awkward.
Over the last couple of years, I’ve worked at the craft of writing, post by post, as topics interest me. I’ve written a lot of things that I’m proud of. I think I’m a funny person (just ask the Queen!) and I think my humor comes through in my writing. When I write something that resonates with people, I’m always happy and a bit surprised. My writing is a labor of love.
Leaders are human. (Obvious, I know. Stick with me. We’ll get through this!) As such, they make mistakes. (Wait, where are you going? OK, let’s move this along…)
Let’s assume that leaders can make small-m-mistakes or big-M-Mistakes. If you’re new in a leadership role or aspiring to one, you’ll want to keep your inevitable missteps to the shallow end of the pool. Not, as one company has recently done, take a screaming Triple Lindy off the highest platform into the deep end. Operating within a clearly defined ethical system may help you stay on the right side of the floating pool line.
Which side of the line are you on?
Last night I had dinner with a coworker from a different office. He’s in town for work this week and we met tonight for some good food and great conversation. It got my thinking about a topic that I think is essential to leadership- and leadership is something near and dear to my heart. The topic we were talking about was diversity.
In his book Winning, Jack Welch quickly dismisses mission statements that reference integrity. It’s assumed- integrity for an organization is table stakes. You’ve got to have it just to sit down at the table and be dealt a hand. There’s nothing special about an organization (or leader!) placing a value on integrity. It’s expected- move on. Tell us something special.
Diversity, or more appropriately, understanding the value of diversity, is similar table stakes for a leader. There’s nothing magical about it. But you’d better understand it if you want to be an effective leader. Moreover, you owe it to your people if you are in a leadership position.