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Father. Sales & Marketing Executive. Blogger. Traveler. Wine Enthusiast. 'Nole for Life. 40 with "Benes" brand is a mindset and belief that, like a fine wine, you get better with age. Experience, wisdom, and knowledge allow you to have real, raw, authentic takes on life and business.

Speak No Evil

How would you react if I started choking you? What would happen if I grabbed you and started screaming at you? What would you do if I spat at you? If you attempted any of these things with me, you would get knocked out cold like Manny Pacquioua did in his last flight. If you were on an Icelandair flight, you would get duct-taped and zip-tied to your seat by passengers and flight attendants.

icelandair passengerBy now you’ve heard about the guy that got so drunk and belligerent on an Icelandair flight that he had to be restrained with zip ties and duct tape. On the surface this is a simple case of enebriation. However, if you reflect on this a little more, a little deeper, there may be a different lesson. Where does situational awareness come into play? What about etiquette and behavior?

There are unwritten etiquette rules in life and in business. When you’re on an airplane you don’t get so juiced that your bellicose actions and behaviors force others to tie you up. Simple, right? There are also etiquette rules in business. We see bad behavior at all levels of organizations. What happens when it’s at the leadership level? What about the bad boss? What if the bad boss is you?

Spotting a bad leader is easy. Anyone could take out a blank sheet of paper and write down hundreds of bad leadership traits and behaviors. Changing bad behavior is a little bit more challenging. 

“We spend a lot of time teaching leaders what to do. We don’t spend enough time teaching leaders what to stop. Half the leaders I have met don’t need to learn what to do. They need to learn what to stop.”  ~ Peter Drucker

Three things have to happen first before a leader can learn what to stop:

  1. Situational Awareness – They have to acknowledge that there is a problem with their behavior.
  2. Emotional Intelligence – They have to understand the impact that their behavior has on others.
  3. Managerial Courage – They have to have the intestinal fortitude to change their behavior.

If you’re the type of leader that uses emotional volatility in your communication -stop. If you fail to recognize quality work and top performance because you’re padding your own stats – stop. If you “know it all” and don’t seek input from others or validate their views – stop.

Wonder if your behavior has any affect on the behavior of your rank and file? Wonder no more. Behavior, whether good or bad, has a waterfall effect on the entire organization and culture. It’s time to demand good leadership behavior. It’s time for business etiquette to be part of our DNA.

We can make the choice. If not, I’m sure there is a healthy stash of duct tape and zip ties hidden in employees’ desk drawers.

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2 Comments on “Speak No Evil”

  1. Mark 01/06/2013 at 11:31 AM #

    Bo knows football and Big Dawg knows about leadership. It’s ok to have holes in your game and work around them. It’s NOT OK to not know about them.

  2. Jim 01/06/2013 at 12:44 PM #

    Great read. Too many leaders focus on developing others & forget about looking under their own hood.

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