Mad Men…What a great show. That is what everyone is saying. I have watched it a couple of times on the road and it is good. However, one of episodes shares a leadership lesson. To share the lesson one of the characters told an Aesop’s Fable. Do you remember this one…?
The Wind and the Sun were disputing which was the stronger. Suddenly they saw a traveler coming down the road, and the Sun said: “I see a way to decide our dispute. Whichever of us can cause that traveler to take off his cloak shall be regarded as the stronger. You begin.” So the Sun retired behind a cloud, and the Wind began to blow as hard as it could upon the traveler. But the harder he blew the more closely did the traveler wrap his cloak around him, till at last the Wind had to give up in despair. Then the Sun came out and shone in all his glory upon the traveler, who soon found it too hot to walk with his cloak on.
Possible morals of the story:
Kindness effects more than severity.
Persuasion is better than Force.
However, I think we can take the moral further. We cannot engage those who hide or spend their time protecting themselves. Our job as leaders is to bring out the person and their passion; and we can only facilitate this when we encourage our associates to express themselves. Of course, we need to be confidant and comfortable enough with ourselves so that we are not threatened by such expressions. Imagine the transparency…the feedback…the success!!!