Be Polite and Be Approachable

Be Polite Be Approachable

Welcome to the second in a series of Leadership Basics that we all should reflect on now and again and that we should make sure are a part of our every day repertoire.

Be Polite

“It doesn’t cost anything to be nice.” Those words have been quoted by many and attributed to many. The one attribution that I am most fond of is the late great football coach — Paul “Bear” Bryant.

Coach Bryant is legendary. For the folks in some parts of Alabama, his stature is almost god-like. And for folks here in Texas, he is legendary as the coach who took Texas A&M from a 1-9 record his first year to winning the Southwest Conference Championship 2 years later.

He tells a story about one of his first recruiting trips after he became the head football coach at Alabama. I will not recount it here. But the short version of it is that he ultimately recruited a very talented young football player years later because of the kindness that he showed the boy’s grandfather on his first trip to that part of Alabama by stopping at his humble cinder block restaurant and fulfilling his promise to send the old man an autographed photo to hang on the wall of the restaurant.

Consider this quote as well before I move on to my next Leadership Basic: Continue reading “Be Polite and Be Approachable”

Be There and Be Punctual

Be There Be Punctual

Today marks the first in a series that I am calling “Leadership Basics.” These will be short and quick tidbits that will help focus on some of the things that I believe are fundamental and basic to being a great leader.

Be there

This one is so obvious and simple. Be there. You could also say be present. and you could say be visible. But, whatever you do, be there. Leadership is not a remote control activity. As leaders, we must be present and we must be visibly on the scene whenever anything big is going down.

Too often we like to show up for the big event if it is going to be fun and celebratory. That doesn’t take leadership and guts. How about showing up when the activity is going to be tense and potentially contentious? Are you there? Or are you conspicuously absent?

Be punctual

I do not know anyone who doesn’t possess a cell phone or smart phone. These devices have had clocks, watches, and alarm functions almost since the very first ones came on the market and were mounted in your car! There is really no excuse for being late. Period. Full stop.

Will it happen from time to time? Of course. You can’t always plan for every potential delay that you will face as your move about. But, better to leave early and arrive early than to leave without enough contingent time built into your schedule to account for the occasional traffic accident or blinking traffic light.

Why does this matter?

I am currently blessed with an incredible mentor. He is teaching me Continue reading “Be There and Be Punctual”

Be A Lighthouse

Be A Lighthouse

Photography has always been a passion for me. And one of the things that I love to capture with my camera is a lighthouse on a clear day. Recently, my wife and I spent a week along the coast of Maine. This is a beautiful area of the country and if you have not visited this part of the country, you have missed some gorgeous scenery. And you have missed some spectacular lighthouses.

We all have an image in our mind of the quintessential lighthouse. It is likely the lighthouse at the tip of Cape Hatteras in North Carolina. It is the tallest lighthouse structure in the U.S. One website that I consulted declared it as the tallest of the 437 lighthouses listed according to their height. It stands at a height of 210 feet. Many will recognize it because of that beautiful diagonal stripe painted on the tower that supports the light. I have not seen it yet, but I understand it is worth the trip.

The lighthouses that we saw last week were much shorter in height than the one on Cape Hatteras. My favorite lighthouse was the one at Cape Neddick Point. It is known as the Nubble. By contrast to the one at Cape Hatteras, the Nubble is only 41 feet tall.

Now wait a minute! Isn’t the height the central and most important feature of a lighthouse?

It was during this trip last week that it dawned on me that the central and most important feature of a lighthouse is its “light” and not its “height.” After all, it is called a lighthouse and not a heighthouse!

[shareable cite=”Kevin Bowser” text=”The most important feature of a lighthouse is its “light” and not its “height.” #lvllc”]The most important feature of a lighthouse is its “light” and not its “height.”[/shareable]

What is the leadership lesson from the Cape Neddick Lighthouse?

The leadership lesson from the Cape Neddick Lighthouse is that one of our primary functions as leaders is  Continue reading “Be A Lighthouse”