The Respect Paradox

I’m always on the lookout for examples, both good and bad, of leadership in action. I was checking out at the grocery store the other day and a clerk had just opened a new register. As I started unloading my basket he told me that the overhead monitor seemed to be out of service but that he had called for a manager to come take a look at it. He’d still be…

A Good Method for Building Trust

I may not be writing these articles much longer. You see, I’ve apparently hit the financial trifecta and am about to become extremely wealthy. On the same day last week I was informed that I had won the European lottery, a Nigerian prince was giving me several tens of millions of dollars, and a United Nations official was going to give me a considerable sum for helping distribute some foreign…

Don’t Raise Mushrooms

Shortly after arriving in the new organization, I asked why we were doing certain tasks that didn’t seem to make sense. This was my first job as an airplane mechanic. I was very young, impressionable and quite curious. So I was disappointed when another mechanic told me not to bother asking. He said we were like mushrooms: kept in the dark and fed, well, you get the picture. Was this…

Leadership and Smallpox

Did you know that the smallpox virus is a possible weapon in the fight against cancer? I didn’t. And what does that have to do with leadership anyway? A couple of years ago I was a volunteer judge for the speaking portion of the Health Occupations Student Organization’s contest. One of the young women spoke of this smallpox – cancer connection in her speech, saying that smallpox was being tested…

Leadership Development: A 9-11 Lesson for Team Leaders

As we reflect on the events of September 11, 2001, we remember the shock and horror of that day. But, we should also remember the days that followed. For a time, we put all our differences behind us and united as a single nation with common beliefs. That didn’t mean our differences went away; they didn’t, but we were able to put them aside and concentrate on a common issue.…