By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy
Here’s an idea to help you think more before you act. Reading time: 4:38.
Ah, a veranda. How inviting! How relaxing!
You can almost feel yourself settling into a comfortable and comforting rocking chair on that veranda.
It’s a warm summer afternoon in a small mid-Western town at the turn of the 20th century. And you’re sipping a tall, cold glass of lemonade.
If you squint hard enough from your vantage point on the veranda you can almost see barefoot kids in the distance toting fishing poles and waving like a scene out of Huckleberry Finn.
Time seems to slow down on the veranda. And your thinking seems to speed up. Your conversation, problem-solving and interaction on the veranda seems to be much more insightful, much more stimulating and much more meaningful. Call it The Veranda Vitality syndrome.
Too bad too many of today’s 21st century leaders no longer exercise their Veranda Rights.
Too bad too many leaders don’t take the time to STOP and think of more creative options before reacting to the problem de jour in Whack-a-mole fashion.
Too bad too many leaders are more focused on how quickly they can address –and dismiss –this one issue in front of them before the next issue pops up and grabs their attention.
Stop & Think
Maybe today’s leaders need a reminder to stop and think every time they confront a significant new problem. Maybe they need a reminder to consult with others, to bounce ideas off others who have diverse points of view.
Maybe they need to exercise their Veranda Rights -a signature process statement – that does for leadership what the Miranda Rights do for justice: let cooler heads prevail especially in volatile situations.
Consider these Veranda Rights patterned after the Miranda Rights:
You have the right to remain silent.
Anything you say or do may be used against you in a court of law.
You have the right to stop and think. Anything you do or say right now may be used against you in the court of public opinion.
You have the right to consult an attorney
before speaking to the police and to have an attorney present
during questioning now or in the future. If you cannot afford an attorney,
one will be appointed for you before any questioning, if you wish.
You have the right to consult your subject matter experts before speaking and to have your subject matter experts present during any questioning now or in the future. If you cannot afford to take the time to consult with your experts, you will be given the time before any questioning, if you wish.
If you decide to answer any questions now,
without an attorney present, you will still have the right
to stop answering at any time until you talk to an attorney
. Knowing and understanding your rights
as I have explained them to you,
are you willing to answer my question
s without an attorney present?
If you decide to answer any questions now, without your subject matter experts present, you will still have the right to stop answering at any time until you talk to your subject matter expert.
Knowing and understanding your thinking rights as I have explained them to you, are you willing to answer my questions without your subject matter present?
Disciplined and Deliberate
In exercising their Veranda Rights, leaders deliberate deliberately. They are like disciplined Karate practitioners who when attacked will step back first, center themselves and then engage in a defensive move.
In exercising their Veranda Rights, leaders pay more attention to everything that’s confronting them not simply what’s in front of them.
In exercising their Veranda Rights, leaders are more cognizant of their surroundings; more conversant with the hopes, aspirations and ideas of others and more concerned with the feelings of others.
In exercising their Veranda Rights, leaders are more apt to better digest the veracity and clarity of their own feelings and dreams through the feelings and dreams of others.
In exercising their Veranda Rights, leaders are more apt to sip carefully and thoughtfully at new concepts and new horizons rather than gulp down whatever comes along. On the run.
After all, real leaders don’t lead on the run. They sit down and think. On their proverbial verandas. Rocking chair optional.
Stop and think to keep your leadership thinking in mint condition.
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