Positive Quote: “A frightened captain makes a frightened crew.” – Lister Sinclair.
This quote reminds me of a similar saying that I tell people; I ask them how they would react if on a plane they saw the flight attendants nervous, crying, shouting, or getting upset. Almost everyone would think something could be wrong with the plane.
To me that is the same thing that this quote is saying. When you are in a position of leadership or when you interact with customers (internal or external) you have to be composed. Those people look to you for their signals. Are you calm under pressure? If something goes wrong do you react negatively or start flinging blame left and right? Do you ignore it hoping it goes away? Whatever you do, I can guarantee people are watching you for clues on how to react.
The hardest most difficult time for me where I believe my leadership was tested was when I had someone who worked for me commit suicide while on the clock. This was a person who interacted with my children, who my children looked up to and spent time with. He was great with kids. I considered him a friend. When this happened I wanted to cry, scream, and react emotionally because I was impacted emotionally. I wanted to be there for his fiancé, for his daughter, for his family. Yet, I couldn’t, I had 100+ other people to help in the grieving process, his co-workers. I had to be strong, be calm, be soothing, and be understanding. I had to coordinate HR to come and bring grief counselors; I had to send people home to let it sink in. I had to tell my bosses’ boss that the SLA was not going to be met for the day or even the week. That hold times would be horrific (I was a manager in the help desk at the time) and I was ok with it. It took me a couple of weeks to get his coworkers and others people to talk to and time to grieve. The funeral was attended by over ½ the department and we gave the people the time off to attend.
I look back at this experience today, a few years later and I don’t know what it would have been like if I would have been not calm or composed. I am thankful I was able to be there for the team. It wasn’t until 6 months later that I grieved personally. I did what I felt was right and to this day, while the memory still brings a sadness to my mind and tears to my eyes, I know I had to be the calm one.
Goodness, I did not mean to get caught up in the memories.
I hope everyone had a wonderful 3 day weekend. Have a terrific Tuesday.