I recently saw a headline on Forbes.com… It read, “7 Ways Leaders Maintain Their Composure in Difficult Times“.
What Would Grandma Do?
The title intrigued me so I clicked and dove in.
The first line in the article said, “Leaders need to show more composure than ever before in the workplace”. WAIT… WHAT? Now my dander was up so I had to proceed.
Let me give you the gist of the article, then list the “7 Ways”. After that I will pontificate.
More composure than ever before
So the reason leaders maintain composure, according to the article:
- To deal with increased market demands
- To handle intensifying competitive factors that surround us
- To minimize uncertainty
- To make people feel more safe and secure
- To see adversity through the lens of opportunity
Here are the “7″:
- Don’t allow your emotions to get in the way
- Don’t take things personally
- Keep a positive mental attitude
- Remain fearless
- Respond decisively
- Take accountability
- Act like you have been there before
Please don’t get me wrong, these are all good things and very important. However, they are kinda “wordy” and “corporate”. These things go nicely in a college business class or from stage at a corporate event. But, why can’t we just do what our grandparents taught us to do?
What would Grandma say?
My grandmother was a very wise lady. Widowed early in her marriage, she taught public school for 32 years and single handedly raised two sons in a small town in south central Texas. She earned her bachelors degree then her masters at the University of Texas. She never sat through any corporate meetings nor did she ever attend any management seminars taught by a guru from out of town. Yet she did have her own “7 Ways” to maintain composure during difficult times.
There were a lot more than seven, but for continuity sake, let’s just deal with seven.
- Settle down! Just calm down and let’s deal with what ever is making you cry.
- You need to develop a thicker skin son. It doesn’t matter what “they” say. Maybe they are having a bad day, don’t take it so personally.
- Well with that attitude, I’m not surprised that you can’t do it. Can’t never could, but you age a Gustafson and you CAN!
- There’s nothing to be afraid of, the Good Lord is watching over you, he and I will protect you. Keep your head up and face what ever comes your way.
- You need to make a decision now, we don’t have all day… enough said!
- Hey, you are responsible for your actions. No one can “make” you do anything. Take responsibility.
- Look, things will happen in your life that will shake your confidence. Pull yourself up by your bootstraps and do what you have to do.
I know that everyone didn’t grow up with a grandmother as wise as mine, but wouldn’t it be refreshing if one of these “big time” magazine writers would just put it into plain old “grandma” language once in a while.
Now, as to the reason that I decided to write this in the first place… Remember the first line in the article, the one that got my dander up? ”Leaders need to show more composure than ever before in the work place” Nonsense! Leaders have ALWAYS and will ALWAYS need to maintain composure in the workplace and in the street, and in their car, and at home and EVERYWHERE else they go. And for that matter, if you don’t consider yourself a “leader”, you still need to maintain composure everywhere you go…. Why? Well because Grandma said so! That’s why!