It’s 7:50 AM. You find yourself glancing over at the clock radio for the 100th time. You’re only running a few minutes late, no big deal right? You dropped off the kids at school on your way into work this morning and got caught in a little traffic. It happens, it’s not the end of the world. However, for some reason the only thing weighing on your mind at this point, is whether or not your boss is going to be a total jerk about it. You are completely dreading your fashionably late entrance, but you have no choice and you are simply going to have to own it.
Finally, you arrive. Only 6 minutes late! You open the door to your office building and slowly creep to your desk. You slightly look over you right shoulder and see that your boss’ office door is…closed? Hmm…Maybe you just got lucky? Either way you are staring to feel a little apprehensive to say the least. Is he upset? Am I going to be fired? Than you start to think, maybe he’s just on a private call and decided to shut the door? You hope for the best and get settled in and start your work day. Throughout the day, you are expecting to hear his office door fling open. You are assuming he will greet you at your desk with something condescending and rude, and interrogate your tardiness. You decide you will impatiently await your sentence. However, the door never opens and now you know he is more than disappointed in you! “Sounds like you better start preparing for your exit Missy! There is no way out of this one!”
OK, so maybe that was a little extreme. The story is simply not true. You made it all up. You created an unlikely scenario in your own mind. You were literally daydreaming the entire story. You actually did get to work on time. Driving an hour to work every day gives us a chance to think…a lot. We sometimes don’t even realize we are pondering the impossible even more than we focus on driving. Definitely not the safest thing in the world.
The real question is, how often have you felt uneasy when seeing your manager’s office door closed? And how can we allow someone to get inside our minds this way? We are in control of our own emotions. We can’t allow feelings like this to overcome us and control us.
“The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not bully; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; have humor, but without folly”
— Jim Rohn
We have an impact on our employee’s lives as leaders. Whether that is in a positive or negative way, it is determined upon how we are perceived. We have a responsibility to lead and motivate others. How can we lead and motivate others to success if we are perceived as something negative? For instance, if you are a leader who thinks fear equals respect, you probably use intimidation in hopes of creating a sense of respect. However, you might actually be perceived as unapproachable. Who wants to work for someone they don’t feel comfortable with approaching? What happens when one of your employees have an urgent situation but you are not available? They are hesitant about approaching you because of previous situations where you made them feel as if they were ridiculous for doing so? That’s why it’s so important to be self-aware. If you’ve ever wondered why you lose good people at your organization, it may be time to take a deeper look into the people you have in leadership roles.
“Become the kind of leader that people would follow voluntarily; even if you had no title or position”
In the end we are all human. If we treat others the way we want to be treated there would never be a question about respect. The problem is that today more and more people think they are entitled to respect simply due to their title. As quoted above, be the kind of leader that people would follow voluntarily, not the kind that demands it.