Saturday, August 16, 2014

How I Strive To Lead

Kind words are like honey, sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.
-Proverbs 16:24
I have often been accused of being too nice and too trusting.  I have spent my entire working life managing people and generally just dealing with them.  Let’s be honest.  People are messy and they can wear you out.  In spite of this I see leadership as ministry and service.  I strive to practice the “Golden Rule” of treating people the way I want to be treated.  For every time I say no, I say yes 99 times.  I try to counsel, forgive, direct, support, nurture, and encourage.  Sometimes I must steer bad behavior towards a more positive path.  Occasionally I lose my patience.  I believe most of my words are kind and I hope they are like honey to the people that hear them.  Sometimes my kindness has been perceived as weakness and it’s possible I have been burned a few times in the area of trust.  Whatever the case I still believe in kindness, compassion, trust, and forgiveness.  I will also continue to practice and, hopefully, perfect these beliefs.  I believe the return on my investment has been a thousand fold many times over with loyalty, mutual trust, higher productivity, and general work place happiness.  I don’t do these things so people like me.  I do them because I believe they are the right thing to do.  I really do believe the world, and the workplace, would be a better place if everyone was a little kinder and if the words we speak were a little gentler.  Life is tough for even the most blessed among us.  If we are going to have a work place “push day”, let’s push kindness.  Let’s speak more gently.  Let’s be more tolerant and accepting.  Let the strong help the weak and let the weak pull their weight as best they can without being discouraged.  We are all on a journey and the road is often rocky.  I would like to see our productivity increase in the amount of stones we remove from the paths of those around us.  There will always be pain and loss and disappointment in life.  However, all of us can do a lot to make the rest of life a more enjoyable experience, not only for ourselves, but for those around us.  If I could paraphrase the words of the Dalai Lama, “If you can’t be nice to everyone, at least don’t hurt them.”  In other words, do no harm.        

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