Be Happy - No One Wants To Work with Grumpy or Sleepy
I loved Halloween as a kid when my sister, Julie, and I would grab our pillow-cases-turned-candy-collection-sacks and go door to door around our neighborhood for HOURS. We would come home, sort our candy and negotiate trades (her salted nut rolls for my butterfingers). It saddens me that so many kids won't get that experience this year due to COVID restrictions. In fact, I am finding that a lot of things sadden me right now and I know that I am not alone.
So I once again I turned myself into Snow White to lighten up our Creatis Monday all-team meeting (yes I was the only one in costume but got a few smiles so it was worth it.) I think we can all use a bit more positive silliness and less negativity right now. Donning my Snow White persona caused me to again pause and ponder what lessons we might learn from fictional characters like her that can bring a bit more joy into our crazy lives as leaders, professionals and human beings. Here are my thoughts:
- Be Happy - no one wants to work with Grumpy or Sleepy. As leaders, we know that others follow the example we set, so it is now more important than ever to be as positive, energetic, committed and, well, just plain happy even when we don't necessarily feel that way.. And maybe even being a little Dopey every now and then isn't a bad thing either, because I bet there is someone around you right now that could use a smile.
- Watch out for those poison apples. Some people build you up and others drag you down. Stay away from the negative nellies and the complainers - those poison 'apples' that are in your company and your life. Align yourself with those that lift you up, that bring you energy, that share your drive for excellence and are problem-solvers not just problem-staters. Shut out the 'negative noise' and take advantage of those in your world who embrace joy and are good listeners. Because I bet even Snow White had to vent once in awhile.
- You may not be the fairest of them all, but you are still pretty darn fair. Being together but apart is very isolating, and the world isn't allowing us to perform our jobs in the same way or achieve the same results. This has caused more than one of my team to question their abilities or become very frustrated. As leaders, it is our job to remind our team of what makes them special, so we need to keep doing those quarterly, weekly and even daily check-ins with each person even though it is time-consuming and perhaps redundant. Ask each person how they are doing and REALLY listen to the response. Then perhaps ask again.
- Be your own Prince Charming. Call me skeptical, but there is no prince (or princess) out there who is going to swoop in and save the day. It is about each of us taking personal responsiblity for our actions and unselfishly doing our part. It is about owning your own behaviors and taking actions that build up your company, your team and others around you. It also means not standing by and just watching the actions of others that tear us apart. After all, this is not the time to be Bashful, as the solution requires all of us to be actively involved.
- One quality can set you apart from others - take advantage of it. Each of the dwarfs had a trait that made him special and set him apart from everyone else. Maximize those top one or two things that make you special and recognize those special gifts in others. And always remember to respect and accept your other dwarfs and make room for their special skill and opinions. After all - it did take ALL seven of the dwarfs to save Snow White.
It is always fun to step into that costume once a year on Halloween and become someone else for a day. I love it because it reminds me to dial down my intensity every now and again, because sometimes my team needs Dopey not Doc to show up and collectively have a little fun. Because times aren't the easiest for anyone, and who doesn't want a lot more Happy right now?