Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Perils of Leadership...Part 5

The Perils of Leadership: Making Chief is the Easy Part 
by Chief John Buckman

Here is the 5th installment of Chief John Buckman's Leadership Series.....


How do you maintain your personal enthusiasm? After you become chief, the stresses and the wear-and-tear can take its toll on even the most idealistic among us. Don't take your attitude for granted. Reevaluate yourself constantly to ensure you are maintaining your edge.

What should you do if you don't have a positive outlook? Find one. Instead of thinking "I can't," start saying "I can!" It takes just as much time and energy. If you are surrounded by a lot of negativists, think about putting some distance between yourself and them. Surround yourself with people who encourage rather than discourage. Remember, every day some ordinary person does something extraordinary. Today it's your turn! Take it!

We will always encounter crisis. Life is full of crises and if we realize that up- front and expect crises our attitude will be different when we confront those emergencies. Every person, group and department will face setbacks. It's not enough to overcome them. You must also learn from them. The great jazz musician Miles Davis once said, "Don't be afraid of failure. There is no such thing." I support that thinking. "Don't let what you don't have keep you from using what you do have."

All of us should adopt the attitude of the blind man who was being led down the street by a seeing eye dog. When they came to the corner of a busy intersection, the dog crossed against the light. The blind man had no choice but to follow. Cars swerved to avoid the blind man, drivers honked their horns and swore loudly. Somehow, the duo reached the other side unharmed. As they stopped on the corner, the blind man reached into his pocket pulled out a dog biscuit, and offered it to the reckless canine. Having just watched the two as they crossed, a bystander tapped the blind man on the shoulder and said, "Sir, that dog almost got you killed. The last thing you should do is give him a biscuit as a reward." The blind man smiled and said ."I'm not giving him a reward. I'm trying to find his mouth so I can kick him in the ass."

Whenever you find yourself moaning about some difficulty, remember that blind man. Give adversity a swift kick in the rear end. Drop the self-pity, throw out the crutches, trash the excuses. Do something positive. Welcome the most daunting challenges.

Next will be part 6 of Chief Buckman's Leadership Series, "SACRIFICE: VOLUNTARY OR INVOLUNTARY?".

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So check back tomorrow.

Until next time....

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