Think twice before you laugh
Leslie, assistant manager for a restaurant chain in Yakima, Washington, told Session 5B of the Leadership Development Lab:
"After I graduated from high school, about twenty some years ago, I joined the Army. I had a good attitude and thought I could endure the torture of boot camp. I was a clown of sorts, always making people laugh. I thought I would make boot camp fun. When we got off the bus in Alabama, six very angry looking men and women yelling all sorts of nasty stuff at us, I couldn't help but laugh. I started laughing when the drill sergeants started in on the blonde, very unmilitary looking girl next to me. She looked like she was going to cry, throw up, or both. Since I laughed, they thought it was a good idea to 'buddy' me up with the girl they had dubbed 'Private Blondie.' If she screwed up, it was going to be my fault, so I better not let her screw up. Well, as you can imagine, the laughing stopped. I was going to have enough trouble keeping myself out of trouble; now I had to keep her out of trouble too.
"As boot camp went on, I found myself doing pushups, scrubbing floors, and many other jobs that were not fun, all because Private Blondie couldn't get it together. I finally had had enough and had some very strong words for my 'new best friend.' She seemed to respond well and the next couple of weeks went very well. The drill sergeants decided that if we could get through the passing of the colors ceremony the next day without any issues, my relationship with Private Blondie could be over. I was excited; one more day and I would be free of the girl. I took her out after practice and worked with her more. She had a small problem knowing her right from her left, so we practiced all the drills, the marching and arms to shoulder drills just to make sure she had all the marching and turning down pat.
"We got all decked out in our greens and
I might say we were looking sharp. We lined up, I gave my 'little project' a pep talk, and we hit the parade field. Everything was going great; we were a precision marching machine. The platoon leader called for a right turn and I turned right. To my dismay, instead of following, Private Blondie was now staring right at me with horror in her eyes. Yes, you guessed it, she turned left. I spent the remainder of the ceremony in the front leaning rest position while everyone else enjoyed the show and boy, was I mad!
"The lesson I learned from this experience is that not everything is fun and games, and to think twice before I laugh. The action I call you to take is give your life and work the light touch and be sure your behavior is always professional. The benefit you will gain is you will be singled out as a professional for others to follow and you will lead your team to breakthrough performance."
Turbo's "Strategic Actions" program
In one power-packed, tailored day, your team will develop a laser focus for a Turbo thrust into 2011. What do you want? Increased sales? Improved performance? Reduced accidents? Improved morale? Greater engagement? Improved customer service? Improved customer satisfaction? Reduced operating costs?
This 1-day program is based on our work with hundreds of senior management teams over the past 25+ years. Your team will leave equipped to perform at breakthrough levels in 2011.
Call now - 2011 is here!
Become a fan on Facebook
Connect with me on LinkedIn
Tweet with Larry on Twitter