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Leaders on Parade
Dr. Lisa M. Aldisert -- Leadership is a Mindset Dr. Lisa M. Aldisert -- Leadership is a Mindset
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: New York, NY
Friday, May 10, 2024


One of the questions I’ve received over the years is whether a leader needs to be “on” all the time. When the question arises, it’s usually because the person is uncomfortable needing to be “on” when they are not officially on the job.

In a nutshell, yes, you need to be on. Like it or not, it’s almost like being “on parade” when others watch you from afar.

You certainly don’t need to mimic your workplace behavior when you go to the restroom or step out to pick up lunch, but as you know, colleagues can corner you when you least expect it.

My advice is to be courteous by acknowledging their question or comment, followed by a quick suggestion (if there is one) or to follow up with them at some later time when you are in business mode and not washing your hands.

Right or wrong, if you are grumpy or aloof or dismissive, there is a good chance that the person will return to the office and exaggerate those adjectives by saying that you’re angry or cold or contemptuous. Frankly, it’s easier to be courteous and offer an alternative time to talk.

When you assume a leadership role, no one talks about your need to be on parade, but often it’s your new reality. And if you behave in a dismissive manner, it should trigger a little self-reflection about why you want to be in a leadership role.

I was on the subway recently on a Friday afternoon when someone came up to me and started telling me about a problem. She briefly told me her issue and I replied to her that she was in good hands with the actual person who was helping her.

She was relieved that I listened, and then we went out separate ways. This didn’t need to extend into office time on Monday.

Usually, these situations can be that brief. Even when it is an invasion of your personal time or space, your kindness and courtesy can go a long way.

“Etiquette requires us to admire the human race.”
– Mark Twain

Header image by Mart Production/Pexels.com.

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Dateline: New York, NY United States
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