Exemplary Leadership – Slow to anger, Abundant in Loving Kindness

Last weekend, I learned a leadership lesson, on being slow to anger, and why we should be abundant in loving kindness. I felt that it’s good to share with you all.

The Incident

I was on my way to my cousin-in-law’s baby shower. When I drove towards the entrance of the condominium, the security guard routinely asked for the house unit number that I wanted to visit. As I was nursing from a sore throat, I cleared my throat, smiled and added, “Level 13, unit 19.”

The female security guard stared at me and looked puzzled. She then raised her voice, “What?”

I smiled and repeated.

She still didn’t get me and she screamed,  “What are you talking about? There’s no eleven thirty . . . ”

I lost my temper at that point of time, and raised my voice at her, “I didn’t say “eleven” I said “level, level“!”

But she still couldn’t comprehend my hoarse voice and shook her head. This time, I was really fuming because I felt that she was either deaf, or I was mute!

I then decided to show her my hand-phone which had a SMS text, “#13-19

Problem solved.

Then she gave me the “Why didn’t you say so earlier” look, and waved me away rudely.

When I got though the security clearance, I shouted in the car, “What’s wrong with her?!”

But my wife, who was quiet throughout the incident added,” Why did you’ve to quarrel with her?”

I thought hard and felt really guilty. My wife was right. My response to the situation could be better. Since I knew that I had a hoarse voice from the sore throat, I could have defused the situation by showing the SMS text earlier to the guard! Why wait until I got worked up?

Lessons Learned

In my book, Discover Your Leadership Style, I shared about an incident in which I hastily punished my soldier for being rude. Several months later, my runner explained that the reason why that soldier was so cranky that morning because he had received news that his mother may be going blind.

After that incident, I became more aware that uncontrolled anger was damaging  as it led to much regret later. My mentor advised me to “spend the night pondering before making any judgment” in future.

Similarly, from the above incident with the security guard, I therefore learned that as a leader, I must be more exemplary, even more so that I’m talking and writing about it.

I should be a leader at all times. Especially when my baby girl was in the car with me. She could have remembered her daddy as being someone who shouts at these security guards who are merely doing their best in security.

I should be slower to anger and be more loving in kindness.

This also led me to think about communication or the lack of effective communication that brought about failed business and personal relationships.

But that would be for another post . . .


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