What would I do?

From time to time things happen within your working environment that cause you to ask yourself, “What would I do if I was them?” We place ourselves in the shoes of those on the receiving end and then in the leather office chair of those doing the delivering, and in the process, think about all the times we have observed a similar situation. And we judge. With silent suggestions. We identify ourself in the other, and the moments where our self would do differently.Recently, the deliverance from the leather chair has caught my attention and has cause me to think about a number of things I have been reading, talking and thinking about in a more cohesive fashion.

I have been reading about leadership. Leadership of people. Leadership of events. Leadership of schools. I have been talking about leaders. Leaders of people. Leaders of events. Leaders of schools. I have been thinking about my recent elevation into a faux-leather office chair and how I have handled that, and in the process have been thinking about all the different leaders I have had the privilege of observing, working for and working with.

Not all of them have been great.

In fact, as this period of contemplation on leaders and leadership has been progressing, I have come to realise there really has been only one that has been great, with a couple of very goods, one good, a couple of averages and a few absolutely miserables!

And it is as I take this moment to observe the current deliverance, that the synthesis has begun, that I begin to compare, consider, question, challenge, agree and disagree with my view of the scene being played out. I find myself thinking quite deliberately about the great leader I once worked for and how he would have handled the situation. I think about the poor fellow who had no idea and think about what he would have done. And then I plot myself on the line strung between them, precariously at first, like the tight rope walker as he steps out from the safety of the platform onto the unsteady wire, but growing more confident with each step forward, with each comparison and evaluation.

For a couple of days now, I have been standing on the tight rope, contemplating the view and my position and find myself more and more confident to answer the question ,”What would you do?”

So what did I learn today?

While we may not all have an opportunity to deliver from the leather office chair, taking a moment to carefully consider what we would do if we did is a valuable exercise.

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