Cat’s Meow

Cats are not people.

Longtime readers know there is menagerie of animals in the house.

Over time this has included fish, fowl, the odd hamster or two and a succession of dogs and cats. Twitter followers hear about Chewy the Karma Dog and the periodic reference to Elf, and The Hux.

The Hux is the youngest. Enigmatic and fun and vocal he is a constant joy even when he gets up at three am and decides he's ready to go out.

He's not into change though.

Born in the midst of a drought in early spring, he went for more than six months before he expereinced rain. At his first taste he went out, looked around, came right back in and looked at me as if to say, WTF?

He was not a happy cat.

Like some people I've worked with (see! there he goes! he's comparing people to animals again! I am not: cats are cleaner) The Hux does not like any alteration in his routine.

While Elf and Chewy roll with the punches as true Zen beings, The Hux relies on constancy to get him through life. An upset to that routine can throw him off balance for an entire day.

What the hell does this have to do with people?

Be patient my friends.

With people, not my story.

Nowadays, especially with the advent of SoMe platforms, I've noted a tendency towards impatience with those who are change averse. We damn them and dismiss them while we revel in our own ability to handle and drive change. We love to post 'n boast about it. Nothing stays the same we crow!

Here's a news flash for you: the world has been changing since time immemorial: the 21st century didn't invent it.

True leadership is making the best of what you have. Taking the talents you've got and leveraging them and multiplying them in ways they might not have imagined on their own. Dealing with people with all sorts of self-imposed limits and blinders.

And progressing none the less.

With unlimited bankroll we could buy talent like the Yankees and therefore should win the pennant every year. But that's not reality for most of us. We're in competitive markets doing the best we can with what we've got.

Encouraging people to be more.

Showing patience.

Showing leadership.

Leaders stretch people. We take them to new heights. We pull, we coach, we counsel, we listen. And when appropriate we castigate. But we never ask them to be what they can't be. We never ask them to don a new persona when they are who they are.

The Hux is change averse: he had a tough beginning and was rescued. He is who he is, and that's okay with me for he brings me joy.

Patience and acceptance get overlooked in the leader's toolkit. But they're there. It seems real leadership is in accepting who people are and where they are. Working with them on their terms to be the best they can be in the environment.

Maybe its more about our own view of leadership, than their view of change.

 

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2 thoughts on “Cat’s Meow

  1. “Cats are cleaner”. Hilarious, again.
    That’s why I am so suspicious of the dog vs. cat question in interviews – most often it is just a trick to find out if someone confesses to be “cat” (arrogant, selfish, prone to sleep 18 hours out of 24).

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