Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Perspective - Your Character.

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Dear Cranial Vault Keyholders and Honorary Cardholders:

To be a team leader, a manager, or a coordinator, you must lead by example, and you must be prepared to demonstrate the integrity of your character and the legitimacy of the motivations which precipitate your actions. You are being watched by others. What's more, you are constantly making choices and introspectively (as well as retrospectively) examining your own motives. Others may have to deal with your style of leadership or management, but you have to deal with yourself.

This is going to hurt just a bit, but you might want to think about who you are given these real-life situations:

1) You're the owner of a start-up business venture, and you are pushing the speed limit while driving your hybrid car in the left-hand lane (in the US). You are about to meet a major equity investor. You're running late. The fellow in the car directly in front of you is wavering from lane to lane without signaling, and gently tapping on the brakelights at seemingly random intervals. You scream "You flipping idiot!"

2) Your boss likes to come into the office very early in the morning, and after dinnertime in the evening at random times. He clearly wants to see who is working (by his standard, which involves employees remaining at their desks for many hours), and enjoys this "surprise approach." It is Friday evening, and you have a dinner date with your soul mate -- but you are breking into a sweat at the thought of leaving before 6:30 pm. You may be quite late for your date, who will be waiting at a restaurant where you've made reservations.

3) You are a soldier on the field of battle. An unarmed man, terrified, is kneeling on the ground in front of you with his hands atop his head, on his knees, pleading for his life. You believe that he is a civilian. Your commanding officer stands behind you, puts his gun up to the back of your head, cocks the trigger and says, "Shoot him, private, or I'll shoot you."

4) You have quit smoking after many years. You have not had a cigarette in four months. In your top office desk drawer, you have an unopened pack of cigarettes that you haven't thrown away, and cannot seem to part with...

5) You abhor cheating on examinations. You are in a very competitive class. Most of the other students cheat. They are circulating an unlawfully purloined copy of tomorrow's upcoming exam, obviously without the professor's knowledge. You think to yourself, "I hate cheaters. These people are disgusting. But if I don't get a high grade in this course, I'll lose out on my chance to get into a great graduate school program..."

In each of the above-proposed scenarios, what do you do, and how does that make you feel about yourself? Think hard.

Good Luck.


Douglas Castle

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