Friday, March 14, 2014

Leadership

People often ask "how do I become a great leader?"  Well, they don't ask ME that.  In fact, no one ever asks me what I think about anything, because they really don't want to know.

"Hey Ben - what are you thinking?"

"I'm thinking of the best way to get people to spew milk out of their nose.  First, I have to convince them to have some milk.  Do you think people would become suspicious if I went up and asked them to drink some milk?  Or should I use soda?"

"Nevermind."

Everyone knows that leadership requires the ability to think up creative solutions to problems.  Especially when those problems are the people you're trying to lead.  So, in the spirit of creativity, I offer you 3 ways to become a great leader.

Don't listen

You're the leader, not the listener, remember?  Followers listen.  They have to, because otherwise how would they know where to go or what to do?  Leaders, by their very nature, are at the front of the line leading the way.  It makes no sense that they would need to listen, especially to followers.  In fact, it's dangerous to listen, because then no one will know who's in charge.  If you start listening to people, then they might even think THEY are in charge, and you can't have that.  Not only that, you might forget that you are in charge if you spend all your time listening.  People can tell who you are by your behavior, so just remember that leaders don't listen.

Think about the difference between writing and reading.  If I'm the one writing, then people know I'm a writer.  It also stands to reason that I know more than the people reading.  If I needed to learn something, I would be the one reading.  And if I started reading, then who would know that I'm really a writer?  See what I mean?

Speaking of reading, you probably shouldn't do that either.  If you read what someone writes to you, it's pretty much like listening to what they say, and you don't want to get tricked into doing that.

Lead LIKE A BOSS

Which of these do you think is going to get more of a response?

1. "Could you please hand me that stapler?"

OR

2. "Bring me that stapler, underling!  And while you're at it, make me a sandwich!"

Asking a question makes it sound like the response is optional.  Some people might even make you wait for the stapler, or, worse yet, say "no".  Then what are you going to do?  Besides, would you rather have a stapler, or a stapler AND a sandwich?  It's so obvious, I don't even know why I have to explain these things to people.

Shout

Some people get upset if you don't listen to them.  Some people also don't like being called "underling", or being told to bring staplers or make sandwiches for people.  What do you do about these types of people?  It's so simple:  you shout until they stop being so difficult.

Now, you certainly don't have to wait until someone is being difficult to shout.  Sometimes properly not listening and properly leading like a boss require shouting, so do it any time you need to.

You see, some people think that leadership is about good vision, being wise, helpful, setting a good example, or being positive.  People who think that are dumb.  It's really all about shouting until you get what you want.

I hope this has been a helpful lesson on how to be a great leader.  You don't have to thank me.  If you do come and thank me, I probably won't listen to you anyway.  In fact, you'd probably wind up making me a sandwich because you're not yet as good at leadership as I am.  That's why I'm writing and you're reading.