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Monday Morning Notes
July 9, 2012
from the desk of Chuck Violand... 

Good Monday morning, <<First Name>>—  

            In the final installment of our series Scott, Holly, and I discuss how the long term consequences of Garbage Truck Behavior can run much deeper, and have a far longer affect on people, than we might think



How our Behavior Affects Us as Leaders

by Chuck Violand... 

            One of the thirteen principles of leadership articulated by former Secretary of State, and Four Star General, Colin Powell states, “Don’t let your ego and your position get so close that when your position falls your ego goes with it.” This is essentially the same thing Scott and Holly talked about during part IV of this Garbage Truck Behavior series and continue to address below.
            Scott: From my point of view, in addition to General Powell’s principles, Garbage Truck Behavior violates two of the most basic of John Maxwell's 21 Irrefutable Laws Of Leadership: The Law of Influence and The Law of Respect. Maxwell states very simply, "Leadership is influence—nothing more, nothing less."
            How can any leader ever expect to influence others toward personal and organizational excellence when they engage in behavior that demotivates and creates anger, hostility and frustration? Do we honestly believe that our employees will be productive and engaged if they cannot respect us as leaders? As Maxwell writes, employees will naturally follow leaders stronger than themselves. When we engage in Garbage Truck Behaviors we will never be viewed in this light and for violating these "laws" we should probably be thrown into jail, not be given the privilege of the title Leader! 
            Chuck: That’s a pretty strong indictment, Scott. I can see there’s no sitting on the fence for you on this one.
            Scott: It is a strong indictment. When you consider the ramifications Garbage Truck Behavior has on a company, the lives of the employees who work there, and even the company leader himself, it’s criminal. As stated previously, unfortunately I have been guilty of this myself.
            Chuck: Well, I’m certainly not going to throw stones here either!
            Holly:  What you both have written is critical, especially when we take a deeper look at the impact of these behaviors on the influence leaders have on people. Influence is themost important skill any leader can possess and the ability to influence others is the differentiating factor between successful, and unsuccessful, leadership. There are many factors that play into an individual’s influence with others, so let’s just focus on one: communication. Have you ever said, or heard someone say, “Consider the source?” If so, you are confirming what communication researchers have found essential when it comes to influencing others: the message you communicate is important. However, who you are as a person is equally important when it comes to influence. Think about the opinion leaders in your life – those people you go to for advice and counsel. Why do you ask their opinions as opposed to others? Usually it’s because you trust their judgment and view them as credible “sources.” So how would you view those people if they engaged in Garbage Truck Behaviors? Would you respect them? Would you trust their judgment?  Garbage Truck Behaviors and Amygdala Hijackings reach well beyond the incidents themselves. Your credibility and ability to influence others is now on the line – and the question we must ask ourselves is whether these behaviors are worth the consequences.
            Chuck: None of us can control all the factors that influence our lives throughout the day, but we can control our behavior and our responses to events.
            The next time you start to erupt in anger, take a moment and count to ten. I know it’s asking a lot, but while you’re counting look in the mirror and ask yourself if the root of your emotional response is in the other guy’s behavior or in the garbage you’re carrying around in your own truck. Then, instead of dumping your garbage, offer a friendly wave to the person who’s trying to hijack your amygdala and wish them a garbage-free day.  

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