Did you ever wonder why some people in leadership positions seem to have split personalities? More at: www.LeeCockerell.com
They are one person at home, who is usually nice, considerate, and a good decent person who has time for family and friends. They are cooperative and fun to be with.
Their children, if they have any, love them and will remember them fondly for all the special attention they gave them . . . for all of the ways they were made to feel special and secure . . . and how they built up their self-esteem and self-confidence . . . and how they respected them . . . and how they were available for them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for their entire life . . . and then, and then, and then something happens . . .
You can almost hear the soundtrack from that famous shark movie. You know the one with the “Shark” that had really big Jaws, or I guess you could say it had a big mouth. It sounded like this when it got near you: dun dun, dun dun, dun, dun, dun, dun, dun, DUN, DUN, DUN, DUN, DUN. You get the idea!
As they are driving to work on Monday morning, everything is nice and calm; and it is a beautiful day as they turn into the parking lot. As they get out of the car, you seem to be able to actually see them turn into someone else right in front of you. They seem to become preoccupied and don’t notice you. They don’t say “good morning.” They seem to be focused on themselves. They get a strained, serious look on their faces, so they can get into their role as The Big Boss (Jaws).
They see something wrong, and they chew you out without finding out why something happened. They even walk differently. They mainly talk—they don’t listen too well because the transformation damages their ears: their ears get really small, and their mouths get really big.
They even get mad if they are not the center of attention. If someone sits in their chair at the meeting, they don’t like it. Kind of how Archie Bunker yelled at his son-in-law when he even got close to his chair (if you don’t know who Archie Bunker is, ask someone born before 1975 or your parents) or Google Archie Bunker. They take themselves and things way too seriously. They actually believe that they are more important than everyone else.
Did you ever notice how they talk to people? If they did that at home, they would be living alone very soon; and their kids would run away from home like some of your employees already do—or at a minimum, the kids would run and hide like some employees do. “What kind of mood is he or she in today?” is heard often.
Sometimes for fun when Priscilla asks me to take out the trash or to do something else, I say, “Do you know who I am?” She says, “Yes, I do; take out the trash.” If I ever start believing that I am a big deal because of my title and start to think more about myself and my needs instead of the people I support and work with and live with, then people will be saying, “What a weird-OOOO! Who does he think he is? Why can’t he just behave and be himself instead of this “corporate person” he becomes when he gets out of the car at work?” As my mother always said, “Lee, behave yourself and don’t act like a fool”; and as Priscilla tells me every morning, “Lee, be careful what you say and do today. They are watching you.”
So when you get out of your car in the morning, take a deep breath, and behave yourself all day long—because if you don’t, you need to understand that people are intimidated by this other person; and I personally am scared to death of sharks. The worst thing of all is that if you behave like this, you are the only one who thinks you are a big deal—and those sounds you hear behind your back are people laughing at you.
Somehow the people who do this don’t realize it! Be a Leader, and be yourself. It’s hard enough being one person, so it must be very stressful to be two.
I’m sure none of these kinds of leaders work for your organization. I think of great leaders like Florida weather. The great leaders are like a bright sunny day with blue skies, 72 degrees, and no humidity.
The average and poor leaders are like Florida weather too. The sky is hazy with smoke, it is 96 degrees, and the humidity is 75%. It thunders, and then there is lightning; but it does not rain and gets hotter by 3 p.m. By midnight, it has cooled down to 94 degrees and another fire has broken out somewhere.
Which weather pattern do you create in your area of responsibility??? Be an environmentalist type of leader. Keep the environment respectful, inclusive, and safe for your team . . . and you will leave a legacy! . . . Lee
This was a great blog. It’s something people just don’t think about enough. I knew many people like this at my last job. People who don’t like what they do, or the people they work with, can easily fall into a pattern like this, whether a leader or not. With great leadership though, you’d see it much less all the way around. Attitude reflects attitude.