Thursday, 8 November 2012

Concussion day 11: why you shouldn't be a leader while concussed.

In the past 11 days, this is what I have learned.

Ponytails hurt. I am really good at making soup when I'm bored. I'm shockingly capable of sleeping all of the time. And last, but certainly not least, you really should not be a leader when you have a concussion ...

Here is why.

It is very difficult to keep track of your belongings. As a leader, being organized is always helpful. Particularly when you need to keep track of people, things and thoughts. I cannot tell you how many times I have tried to remember to go pick something up from the bank that is literally 100 metres from my apartment ... Mission: Impossible.

It is very difficult not to cry at all times. Seriously, my eyes feel like a water fountain in the desert: overused. I cannot STOP them from excreting tear drops. As a leader, emotional management is paramount, particularly in moments of uncertainty and stress. For example, when your lovely boyfriend offers to drive the car so that you don't have to, it is not appropriate to start bawling as if he just bought you a puppy, let you fall in love with it, then ripped it out of your hands and gave it away to someone who doesn't even like dogs.

It is very difficult to do anything useful when you are by yourself all of the time. As the transformational leadership theory notes, both leaders and followers advance each other to higher levels of effectiveness, motivation, morale, etc. This could not be more true. It is so important to surround yourself with people who can make you better. While sitting alone in my apartment cave, I have been outrageously unproductive ... aside from the vats of soup that are in my freezer. Without the energy of others, I have done a fraction of what I am capable of on any given day.

All in all, many leadership lessons can be learned through boredom, injury and just plain bad luck. And, as always, I like to look at life events through a leadership lens to help gain perspective. So, I encourage you to do the same - especially those of you whose brains are not bruised ... I'm sure you'll come up with what I did and then some. Also, I must warn you: if this concussion goes on much longer, there is a strong possibility that I might go bananas, buy a lot of cats and start collecting porcelain clowns ... I guess time will tell. Kidding. Or am I?

"Find beauty in the ordinary and you'll find joy in unexpected places."

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