Sunday, November 28, 2004

Leadership

A Mr. Rogers thought:

“It’s very dramatic when two people come together to work something out. It’s easy to take a gun and annihilate your opposition, but what is really exciting to me is to see people with differing views come together and finally respect each other.”

What a wonderful thought. I grew up watching Fred Rodgers on television, and while I can’t give Mr. Rogers credit for everything that I am today, I do think that he had an effect upon a small boy who was curious about the world around him. Mr. Rogers reinforced good solid principles taught by parents, and Sunday school teachers. Looking back on it now, I wonder how Fred Rodgers was able to be so good, so loving, and so tolerant. On his show we talked about happy things, and sad things, at times people were even angry, but there always was an undercurrent of love and understanding.

Sometimes, I find myself in situations where I am supposed to be a leader, in moments like those; I should be the person on the moral high ground. I should really study out the issues, and make sure that the things that I do and say will not hurt others. I once read a book that claimed that to be a leader that there was no room for compassion if you were to reach your goals. To whoever it was that wrote that book, I emphatically disagree. It may take more work, and you as the leader may have to be more creative, but if those you lead know that you love them, and understand that you want them to love each other, wouldn’t things like assuming good intent, having mutual respect, and overall productivity increase?

In the last week or so, I may not have been the best leader in all aspects of my life. Metaphorically speaking, I may have thrown out the baby with the bath water. Interactions with different people are always so intricate, there is so much always going on in the background. The question of today’s post has to do with the opening quote. Yes, working things out is dramatic, and it is exciting and wonderful to see two people with different views respect each other, but something I have learned the hard way is that I can only directly control myself. How do you foster the understanding and respect that it takes to get two third parties to agree to disagree, and yet respect each other and have a good working relationship from there on out. From a leadership perspective I would find this very interesting, because it may not be the Leader can not force anything, but he may very well have to clean up some of the mess. Unfortunately, sometimes the decisions we make have a ripple effect, and thereby, a dispute at one end of the pool very well could disrupt the whole thing.

Maybe we all just need to be a little more conscious of our actions. Certainly, no one is perfect, and I really believe that few in this world set out to cause trouble, most people are inherently good. The trick is that we need to see the good in each other.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Excellent entry. Thank you for sharing that!