I received an unusually high response from readers of last week’s Leadership Notes regarding the topic, “listening.” That content was based on several of my recent observations (click here to read). As a result of the interest and ongoing discussions, this week I am continuing the conversation.
Of particular note in the responses was reference to the following paragraph:
In last week's Leadership notes I wrote for the second week in a row to once again encourage each of us to remember those impacted by the mudslide that occurred in Oso, Washington - and to keep them in our thoughts and prayers.
(pictured above is Washington State Patrol Senior Chaplain Mike Neil with First Responders at the Oso mudslide recovery location)
I was attending a lunch last week with members of a committee where I have had the privilege of serving for a number of years. In the midst of a conversation on leadership, one of the members said, “I am just not a leader. When I read articles on leadership I say to myself, ‘I could never be that.’”
For the purposes of recounting the conversation, I will refer to this person as Dianna.
Her contention was that because she sought to avoid conflict, she could not be a leader.
"Leadership is the gift that helps all other gifts flourish.” – John Jonez
My brothers are both pretty sharp guys. Both are highly accomplished in their respective fields of endeavor. One of them told me he remembered hearing a thought on leadership and sent me the statement he paraphrased, above.
To which I replied, "Right on, Brother John. Right on."
My wife and I had lunch recently with a young woman who was promoted into a significant leadership position. She wanted to ask some questions about areas of leadership that she was facing in her new position. As we listened, we offered our perspective (when asked). The conversation took a turn when she asked her last question, “Now that I am the Leader of the Team in the office, I find that I am all alone. I don’t have any peers at work because I am now their leader. I am discovering that leadership can be isolating – and actually quite lonely.”
Last week I mentioned that a friend was reviewing the budget for his company with an eye to minimizing expenses and he asked me what I thought about his marketing expense. He wanted to know if I thought he should reduce his marketing expense this year.
I responded by quoting Automobile Company Founder Henry Ford who said, “A man who stops advertising to save money is like a man who stops a clock to save time.”
A friend was reviewing the budget for his company with an eye to minimizing expenses. And I agree that it is always good to review the budget with this mindset.
Along the way he asked me what I thought about his marketing expense (he is a friend, not a client, so he knew my answer would be objective...).
He pondered aloud, "Should I cut my marketing expense this year?" Here was my response: Henry Ford said it best: