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All the Way In

Everyone on the beach knew it was the first time my granddaughter had been in the ocean. Screams of terror filled the first 10 minutes. For the next hour, screams of delight drenched everyone within earshot as she fought the waves to hold on to her ‘My Little Pony’ boogie board. The whole world knew when she finally made it “all the way in “. Joyfully exhausted, we marched weak kneed back to our bright blue beach chair under our big umbrella to the applause of my lovely wife.

“Perfect” would be the word I had used to describe that Florida afternoon. Then I felt something in my right pocket and it was not moving…my iPhone. It was very dead.

Amazing Effort
My wife made a quick call on her phone to Apple. At 8:30 the next morning my new iPhone was delivered to our condo. That was amazing, but what happened next was even more amazing. As you might have guessed, the new phone would not work, but the problem was not the phone itself, it was my office system. Jason, my online Apple helper, tried for several hours to work around this IT system problem. He did his best, but had no success. I thanked Jason for his tenacity and said goodbye. Later that day this email appeared on my laptop:

“I would like to take full responsibility for your issue we were working on together today. To do this, I would like you to have a direct way to get a hold of me if any further follow up needs to occur with this case. You will find my contact information below. Please contact me right away if you need anything regarding this case and include the following case ID within any correspondence.”
Sincerely, J L Apple

You might be thinking “Wow! I wish could get some Jason’s on my team”, followed by “and get rid of the unmotivated people around here “. Have you ever thought that you may hire several Jason’s in the past but, after working with you, his or her natural desire to go “all the way in” faded away?

Three Types of Leaders
Leaders come from one of three dispositions:

  1. The first type believes that within every person there is the spirit of a healthy seven-year-old child with a burning desire to give his or her best and never give up. They actively nurture that view of people and all stakeholders win. Plus, they usually have more than their fair share of Jason’s. There are a lot more of these leaders than today’s critics want to admit, but a few more would only help.
  2. The second type of leader believes that people are basically lazy and only work for money or whatever they can get. They treat people as tools to be used. In this type of environment, everyone loses, usually sooner than later. The Jason spirits die quickly in this place of management by manipulation. This leader is rare and he/she will seldom change.
  3. The third type of leader is ambivalent. Sadly, they are all too common. The other two types, for good or for bad, are “all the way in” but this leader is only half the way in. This means their lips say that they support the purpose of the organization, but their heart has its own private agenda. Frustration, false starts and time wasting filibusters are thehallmarks of these leaders. Their organizations limp along, up and down, until the culture simply implodes or the leader lets go of their ego and exits. If they have the courage to then move on to a place where their heart leads them and follow their passion, they will more often than not become a shining example of our first type of leader.

When you follow your innate interest or calling, you and the people you touch become more alive, more autonomous, more productive and more likely to act and feel like … work is a beach.

Journal Entry:
What is the attitude of the individuals in your organization, on your team or at your home? What decision do you need to make to be “all the way in” with your leadership and life?

The last 1 percent most people keep in reserve is the extra percent champions have the courage to burn. – Chis Carmichael

Circumstances do not make the man, they reveal him. – James Allen

It is those who concentrate on but one thing at a time who advance in this world. The great man or woman is the one who never steps outside his or her specialty or foolishly dissipates his or her individuality. – Og Mandino

Leadership is unlocking people’s potential to become better. – Bill Bradley

…Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. – Matthew 18:3 ( NIV)

I’ve had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn’t it. – Groucho Marx

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