The Privilege of Leadership – 1
Leadership Tip of the Week
Listen = Silent
The most effective leaders are great listeners.
Reflect for a moment on the letters of the word “listen”.
The letters also spell the word “silent”.
If you are not silent you can’t be listening.
Leadership Anecdote of the Week
Keep it simple – and positive.
There is a man who lives beside me and he owns some horses. It so happens that the school bus stops right at the gate to his horses’ field and, while he is at work, the school children feed the horses their scraps.
The horses love it. Mars Bars, crisps and stuff the kids had made in cookery class. The horses even developed a taste for pepperoni pizza. Over time, the horses got fat. So the man put up a sign that said:
Do not feed the horses.
Did it work? Most definitely not! The feeding continued, so the owner changed the sign. It now read:
Please do not feed the horses!
But his problem continued. He didn’t know what to do.
One day he approached me and said: “JJ, I know you do a lot of work around positive psychology and I have a problem”. He explained the problem in the hope of getting a simple solution. “How on earth can I stop the kids feeding my horses?”
“Very simple” I replied and I wrote him a few words on a scrap of paper. My neighbour looked at the piece of paper and laughed.
“No way!” he said, and as he walked away shaking his head I smiled a knowing smile because I knew the problem was cured.
The horses are now back to their normal weight, their coats shining and energy restored. If you saunter past their field there is now a sign that says:
We only eat apples and carrots.
The message is simple and positive. It focuses on what we want to happen rather than what we don’t want.
And best of all, it works.
(For loads more leadership stories like this get your copy of JJ’s new book – How to Win – in life, business, and everything else.)
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(Leading Edge Leadership work with leaders and managers at all levels in a range of businesses and organisations who are leaders in their field.)