STAND UP STRAIGHT!
When I was young, I was tall for my age. But I always slumped my shoulders (more on this later). So adults were always saying “stand up straight; throw your shoulders back.” Aside from the fact that it was painful to do (Reason one), I had a greater concern.
No one tall has ever told me to stand up straight. That made me suspicious. It’s always been short-people-who-WANT-to-be-tall who told me to straighten up.
Like my company commander in boot camp. He was 4′ 1” and always bounced on his toes trying to be 4’4″, yelling at the top of his lungs for us to stand up straight when we stood at attention (here we go again). Then he’d come to you, nose to belly-button and looking straight up at me ask, “Are you looking DOWN ON ME maggot?.” Believe me, it’s nothing but pure hell to tell the truth in that situation.
But worse yet, standing straight causes you to be attentive. When you’re more attentive and you’re tall, you increase your “command presence.” This is very dangerous because . . . When you increase your command presence, you’re usually asked to LEAD something. Once you’re asked to lead something you have only two choices:
Make believe you can lead. We all know what that looks like (except for those trying to make believe they can lead). When you make believe you can lead, people catch on to you really quickly. And you either get promoted or you are disliked. In either place you’re always waiting for the shoe to drop. Knowing that you’ll soon be out of a job.
Make believe you can’t lead. When you make believe you can’t lead, you’re always hoping that the shoe will drop and you’ll escape from that job. In either situation, you’re not likely to have gained anything by standing up straight for the short people.
DANGERS OF GOING VIRAL
Inevitably, you will be encouraged by tall friends to write a blog post of your experiences as a tall leader that will go viral. If you write a blog post that goes viral you will be asked to speak places. Once you’re asked to speak places, you’ll have to write a book. Your book will open doors for you to speak more places and then you’ll be expected to be an “expert” on the topic. Unfortunately, the only thing you’re an expert on is resisting the temptation to stand up straight only you’ve already failed at that by now. Plus nobody likes a tall expert. Now that nobody likes you . . .
You’ll be asked to join a panel on FOX business news and your new writing, speaking, and interviewing schedule will have you totally stressed out. So Dr. Phil hears about you and invites you to tell the world the answer to the question “How’s that working for you?”
You go around now telling tall kids not to stand up straight and their parents are ripping mad. So they contact Bill O’Reilly. He sends Jesse Waters out to interview you. Wait till you get on O’Reilly’s show and see how tall he is. He won’t be happy with the example you’re living for America’s youth and you’ll be persona-non-grata at Fox. Now you’ll be embraced by the left. If you’re left, that’s good. If you’re right, then you’ll be wrong.
BACK WHERE YOU STARTED
Oh, another reason not to lead is that you delegate. And when you delegate it’s easy to avoid. And when you avoid, you’re considered conceited. Then you lose more friends. You become distracted from your focus as a leader. Then you start to digress in thought and conversations. People notice your digression and you’re no longer invited to speak anywhere. So you slump over in discouragement. Now you’re right back where you started with your short mother telling you “stand up straight.”
Unfortunately, you’ve long ago resigned from your day job to pursue your career of being a viral blogger, speaker, and expert. And who knows where that will end up.
You get my point . . .
© 2015 by David C Alves
iStock photo used by permission
As you know, U.S. Air Traffic Control has been a hot topic in the news recently. We have heard of controllers sleeping in the tower, supervisors working past required limits, and other dangerous practices. That having been said, before we reform U.S. ATC, let’s be grateful it’s not like Scotland’s. (DISCLAIMER: This post is an effort at humor).
- Air traffic controller suspected of working drunk (cnn.com)
- Travel Chaos Looms: Germany Faces Air Traffic Control Strike Thursday (spiegel.de)
- Was an Air Traffic Controller Drunk on Duty? (newsfeed.time.com)
- Flight Sims Now Available With Real Air Traffic Controllers (wired.com)
Every year around this time, we face this huge thing—buying gifts for those special people on our Holiday shopping list. I hear so many people ask, “Have you done your Christmas shopping yet?”
The answers are legion and most too dismal to recall here. The long and short of it is that most people HATE, and I mean HATE the process of shopping. We love to give gifts, if we’re still human at all. And we enjoy receiving them, unless we’re sociopaths (like Scrooge) or liars. But that shopping mall, with its crowds of rude and harried people. That line with noisy kids and grumpy clerks who’ve had enough of the noisy kids. What’s worse is that we have to pick up one thing here and another there. Then two days later, we have to repeat the process, sometimes in the same stores. A week later, we pick up something more.
Some people start buying in July. Then find their Christmas treasure and take it home and hide it from the recipients (and usually from themselves) and they repeat this over the months leading up to Christmas, so that they can calmly, proudly answer, “Oh, all my Christmas shopping was complete in September.” Don’t you hate that smug smile on their face?
Others, wait until the very last days before Christmas. That way they can tell people, “I wanted to get you _________, but they were all out of them. Can you believe it?” They secretly were not going to get anyone anything, but at the last minute their conscience kicked into gear and they flew about like a mad person. That person is the one of the main reasons why we hate last minute shopping.
Well . . . I have a friend who converted me to “THE DAY OF ONE MISSION.”
He has forever solved the Christmas shopping dilemma for me. I used to be one of the crowd. I tried all kinds of strategies. But Ken sealed my shopping future by his shopping strategy, his tactical plan—ONE MISSION.
I’ll share this tomorrow. In the meantime, phase one:
- save some money
- buy a walkman CD player or use your iPod or personal organizer
More on this later. I’ve got to run. I have an appointment with Ken.