When to step over the line.

14 12 2016

“Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty.  The obedient must be slaves.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

If you don’t know about Thoreau, Google him someday.  He seems to me to have been way ahead of his time, in that  he was a lifelong abolitionist and environmentalist, who died in 1862, at the young age of 44.  His philosophy influenced greats like Gandhi and Martin Luther King.  I wonder how much better our world might be today had he lived longer.  He is sometimes referred to as an anarchist, but he really didn’t want to destroy institutions, he just wanted to intelligently improve them, with common sense and simplicity.  Those that know my thoughts on simplicity can see why he’d be a man that I admire.

Leaders, we all are expected to follow rules, norms, rituals, and traditions in life.  It’s easy to “go along to get along”, by following in the ruts that are in the road ahead of us.  Nobody is going to be popular, and succeed by spurning every one of these things that are “the way we’ve always done it” – disagreement on a few points is OK, but turns into Rebellion when you just stop following all of the rules.  But know your heart, and know when the opportunity arises in some situations, you can and should stand up and say “No, not this thing.  I can’t do it this way”.  If you communicate your disagreement respectfully, you shouldn’t fear taking that position, no matter how hard it may be to make that stand.”

Speaking of disobedience…


Rubes cartoons used with permission. www.rubescartoons.com


Don’t kick them when they’re down.

2 02 2016

“Truth is a good dog; but always beware of barking too close to the heels of an error, lest your brains get kicked out.” ~ Francis Bacon

It’s a good lesson.  Don’t kick someone when they’re down.  Don’t be that “I told you so” person.  Win with grace, and when you’re wrong, don’t get too uptight about it.
Leaders, remember this when someone on your team doesn’t take your advice and tries a different approach – then fails.  Sure, you can bark on the heels of that error, but you’re probably better off congratulating them for thinking differently.  After the wound scabs over, talk with them about it, but give it some time.  They may have had the right idea by attacking it differently, and maybe they would have succeeded with a better result than your idea with a little support.

Speaking of barking…


Rubes cartoons used with permission. www.rubescartoons.com

Some days, just shut up and let the lesson teach itself.

14 09 2015

“Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend.  Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.” ~Grouch Marx

Some days, the quote and the comic are funny, and brilliantly aligned.  It’s these days that I should shut up.  So… Leadership lesson: Read stuff, be smart, be funny… ‘Nuff said.

Speaking of books and dogs…


Rubes cartoons used with permission. www.rubescartoons.com