Great Leaders Are Continuous Learners

How do you start your day on the right note? You have a choice. How do you handle a difficult situation? What can you do every day to learn from other leaders?

Imagine you were driving a new car on a chilly winter day. Life is grand… until a rusted out Suburban smashes into your rear end. This event happened to me, and once I realized that neither I nor the other driver were injured, I faced a choice; do I fly off the handle and scream at the young woman who decided to rear end me, or do I pause and treat her like a human being.

The young women was apologetic and mentioned that she had been sick and was on her way to take a make-up exam at the local college. I noticed her coat was unbutton and suggested she button her coat as it was quite cold out. I was not happy, but I chose to respond in a positive way!

The way your character is revealed is not when things are going your way; but when the unexpected or unpleasant happens.

The choice is yours! So, how will you handle a difficult situation?

Take a deep breath and calmly respond to the situation.

Begin with a positive happy attitude:

My mother-in -law, Pearl Neustein Berger, always had a positive happy attitude no matter what difficult problems she had to face. She was the 6th child of eight children born to Regina and Herman Neustein who came to America from the Austria Hungarian Empire, Lemberg.

When her husband died of Cancer, she was 41 years old and she had two children to support, ages 5 and 13. She had no education and no job. She decided to take matters into her own hands and found a job at a New York department store, where she stayed for a number of years.

She worked hard to provide for her children, instilling in them strong moral values. She taught them to study, work hard, and to help others. She understood the importance of attending religious services every week to help reinforce their character.

She worked hard to make sure both her children could go to college and graduate school. Shortly after my husband Allan and I were married, my husband had to register for his next semester of graduate school. He was taking evening classes as he had a full-time job during the day. He could not get off work to go to register for classes. I was working that day too.

His Mom, Pearl Berger, had the day off from work and said she would get him registered for school. She always had a positive happy attitude, and was one of the most caring and honorable people I have had the pleasure to know. She was five feet one inches tall and to me she was one of the tallest and strongest women I have known. Her caring attitude and commitment to her family, friends, others made her unforgettable.

What is the best way for you to begin your day? Start with a positive attitude and wear a smile!

The way you respond, and how willing you are to share credit for accomplishments, greatly impacts the people you lead.

Former Alabama football coach Paul “Bear” Bryant once said that the way to get people to play their hearts out on the football field was to take the blame when things go wrong and give… that’s all it takes to get people to win football games… but to the outside world, Bear Bryant always took the heat.

“If anything goes bad, I did it. If anything goes semi-good, then we did it. If anything goes real good, then you did it. That’s all it takes to get people to win football games.” – Coach Bear Bryant

Is this how the great leaders in your life behave? Is this an attitude you could adopt? It could unlock tremendous potential!

What are 3 ways to improve your leadership skills?

1. Start your day on the right note with a happy positive attitude and a smile.

2. When you have a difficult situation take a deep breath and calmly respond to the situation. As Coach Bear Bryant said, “be willing to take the heat when things go wrong. When things go well, share the credit. When an individual or the team do well, give them the credit.”

3. Leaders read every day for 10 to 15 minutes learning from other leaders to help them solve their problems. Leaders are readers and learners constantly evolving, changing, and responding to problems and situations.

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