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The Awkward Divide (Leading Requires the First Step)

Politics & Tactics Blog

The Awkward Divide

We fail as leaders and followers when our own mostly unjustified insecurities defeat us. We see this happen every day yet most fail to act. When you walk into a room of strangers or a stranger approaches in a group setting do you step up and introduce yourself? If not you should strive to do better.

When a customer walks into the fire house does the firefighter at the desk jump up introduce themselves and give a warm hello? Chances are they nod barely lifting their head up from viewing the TV.

This reaction is the signature of your department and it should reflect your organizations values. People very seldom remember word for word what someone says. What they always recall is how you made them feel.

Think about the last time a kid shook your hand with a firm grip and made appropriate eye contact. This is so unusual today that if it happened it would be easy to recall. Remember how awkward it is when walking up to someone or a group and no one introduces themselves.

As a leader it is your responsibility to cross the awkward divide and break the ice. This simple gesture sets the tone for the entire interaction. 

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