Turbo Leadership Systems

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December 24, 2013 Issue 462 To our clients and friends

Special Chocolates

Larry W. Dennis, Sr.
Turbo Leadership

Play it safe

Sheila, controller for a Clark County construction company, told Session 2 of Turbo’s Leadership Development Lab:

“A few years ago when I was a bit younger, I worked as the Corporate Controller for a firm that had both construction and environmental testing divisions.

“It was the Christmas season and the three other ladies from the accounting department came into my office and said, ‘Want a piece of candy one of our vendors just dropped off?’ It looked like a box See’s Candy. ‘Sure.’ When I bit into it, I choked and just about spit it out. ‘What is this?’ They laughed hysterically and showed me the box. It was alcohol-filled chocolates. The instigator and I had worked with each other for many years and she knew I don’t use hard alcohol. All in all, it was a funny joke.

“When everyone was out to a late lunch, one of our lab technicians came into the office grumbling, apparently not having a good day. So, trying to give her a smile, I got the box of chocolates, walked into the lab and said, ‘Looks like you’re having a bummer day. How about a piece of chocolate?’ She smiled. ‘Yes, thank you,’ and popped it into her mouth. A moment later spit it out, looked at me and yelled, ‘What are you thinking?! I’ve been sober for 3 years and YOU just ruined it!!!’ ‘OMG’ was all I could say. I apologized over and over. I had no idea. ‘I am so sorry!!!!’ She was not accepting my apology. I just snuck out of the lab.

“I went to the president as soon as he was back and explained the situation; not knowing this technician (she was fairly new; had only been with the company for 4-5 months). I told him how sorry I was, and that he should be prepared because she was really ticked off. I agreed that I had used poor judgment, and that alcohol had no place in the office. She did go to him and very vocally complained. He tried to

explain that I had apologized for my mistake. She was never very cordial to me again.

“The lesson I learned from this experience is not to let the holidays or any other circumstance overly influence me, and not get too caught up in the fun of the season. The ladies that worked for me got so much fun out of the joke when they played it on me that I made a really bad decision to do it to someone else. I need to keep to my ideals and hold to my values, not let others humorous ideas determine my behavior. I still have much regret about this day and the bad decision I made that resulted in ‘egg on my face.’ The action I call you to take is to always lead from high ideals. Be very careful when playing jokes that no one gets hurt, regardless of your intent. The benefit you will gain is a life with fewer accidents and no regrets.”

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