I happen to be posting this from poolside in sunny Orlando, Florida and simultaneously drinking a fruited beer, Corona Light to be exact. My daughters are enjoying their lunch and my wife (the Owner, CEO, and Lead Visionary of KPM Flooring) is attending a very chi-chi meet-and-greet event with the gang from Artistic Tile, a very innovative bunch who has some really fashion-forward and innovative flooring designs.
This leads me to talk a little but about karma. I believe in karma, or at least in the concept that what you reap is what you sow. The other day, for example, there was a bee on the floor of my garage. To be specific, it was a carpenter bee, those pests who dig into any exposed woodwoork and destroy it by burrowing and laying larvae, which then add to the destruction by burrowing out. I was carrying a bag of trash to the service yard and threw the bag on top of the bee. End of story? Perhaps, but not quite. Three days later, mind you, I went to put the bag of trash into the service yard and barefoot, stepped on the bee. While the bee had gone on the the great hive in the sky, it’s stinger was still poised and ready for action. Thus a painful stick in the foot and yes, karma. I cursed in pain for only a moment until looking down and seeing what had caused this, and suddenly laughed; I had it coming to me, I guess.
So while being humble, I certainly don’t believe I actually deserve anything good that has happened to me, I can say that I try to lead a good life and do right by others and when good things happen to me, I like to think that being good to others had a little to do with it. However, I hate to get too convinced that things will always be good; that might border on hubris.
But while we can’t always expect things will go right if we do well by others, I can suggest to you that as a leader, if you fail to do right by your subordinates or colleagues, if things don’t go badly now, once others realize your vulnerabilities, they will.
People will gladly work for and with someone they like and respect. People will also tolerate a certain amount of dislike and disrespect before someone has enough and that person becomes the leader’s foil. In some cases even, that individual will do whatever they can to undermine the leader.
While Machiavelli suggests that fear is stronger than love and others find that a cowed nation will serve a tyrant willingly, history has shown that ultimately tyrants often are overthrown and die horrible deaths. I think that while it is okay to be a strong leader, one must lead with good judgment and compassion.
Leaders must consider the impact of their decisions and know that failing to be fair, prudent, and stalwart will only bear bad fruit. People will follow good leaders and do what they can to remove bad ones. If you take the time to be understanding and enlightened, you too can have your day in the sun. Be open to others and demonstrate excellence in leadership. If you can be like this, you can lead multitudes; if not, you won’t be leading long. Thanks for reading.