Monday, April 26, 2010

What is your role?

This past week I was reminded that sometimes it's hard to define your role.  My oldest, Kate, had the grandmother of her boyfriend pass away.  I've always believed that funerals are about the families, not so much the deceased, so there is a certain amount of awkwardness when you're not family.  You care about the family, but you only met the grandma and grandpa a couple of times.  Your sadness is not for the deceased, but empathy for the family.  So what do you do?  What do they need?  Do they need a shoulder to cry on, a bottle of water, a distraction or some comic relief?  Don't be offended that comic relief came up, because sometimes you just need to be reminded that it'll be okay to smile and laugh again.  Even "Saturday Night Live" came back on the air after the tragedy of 9/11.  You need to listen.  You need to be responsive.  They need to know that you care.  Sound familiar?  These are leadership skills that are invaluable in all parts of your life.  Leadership is not limited to your work.  It comes through in all areas - family and friends included.  How do you see your role as a leader?

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