You Can’t Lead ‘Till You Stoop

I am not qualified to write on this subject of leadership, but my heart is. Everybody has an idea of what leadership means to him or her personally. Leadership to me is simply this: stoop first, then lead. How can you lead someone from something if you don’t feel it first? Do you know what it is like to lose a child; stoop and imagine your own child never again dropping everything in a race to hug your kneecaps as you come home from an agonizing day. Do you know how it feels to have the love of your life walk out on you; stoop first before you tell an employee to take care of their personal problems on their own time- saying things like” check your emotional baggage at the gate.”  A salesperson is begging to race to the bank to deposit his draw check- hoping to outrun the rent check already written; stoop first before you decide, with your grandiose management power to hold the check until closing time-because you can. As a grown man tearfully stares into the eyes of his “manager” fearfully wondering if he can provide for his family in this rejection infested business; stoop first, before you tell him to man up; it’s a numbers game.

We don’t all learn to swim the same; some get pushed into the deep end and have to fend for their own lives; others begin with floaties. Just because you made it one way doesn’t mean another will. You can manage processes, not people.  It’s not the words you speak that make you a leader, for words can be hollow; it’s what you stooped for-the non-judgemental acts that speak louder than mere words.

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