Are you a pandemic grouch? Has anyone called you “Grumpy Pants”?
My wife, Karen — her name is Karen, but she’s not one of those Karens ? — and I are convinced one of the least-talked-about effects of the Coronavirus is people are out of sorts. You know …
Are you any of these?
Or have you been a … leader?
In the QBQ! book, we write leadership is not about title, position, or tenure. Rather, true leadership is the moment-to-moment disciplining of my thoughts. Leaders understand how they think today will affect their tomorrow.
If I’m a manager, I’m a leader. If I’m a parent, I’m a leader. If I’m a friend, I’m a leader. If I am a neighbor, sibling, or co-worker, then I am a … leader!
Leaders take captive every thought. They own and control them — especially the negative ones.
When buying two unique vegetables at King Soopers (Kroger) grocery store—knowing many cashiers struggle to identify them—I asked the mask-wearing fella with weary eyes, “Do you know what those greens are?”
In a not-customer-friendly sarcastic tone with a clear edge to it, he said, “Yes, I actually do” — and never spoke to me again.
I must’ve offended him by implying he’d be unfamiliar with curly endive and escarole — unusual veggies I buy for my African Uromastyx lizards. Virtually no cashiers prior to him have known what they are, so that’s why I asked.
When I finished paying, the stressed-up man slapped the paper receipt into my palm and abruptly turned and left his station with nary a word.
Must’ve been break time. ?
What I just described, I’ve witnessed in others during CV-19. I’ve also felt more than a little grumpiness in me.
Arriving at Home Depot’s parking lot, I checked in online for curbside pick-up for two ceiling fans. After <impatiently> waiting in my Tacoma for 15 minutes, I made myself put on a mask and walk across the parking lot in 98-degree heat. Arriving at the customer service counter, I informed another masked human of my small dilemma — possible too tersely, which I am accountable. With no words spoken, she began typing on her keyboard. After a few moments, she turned, walked behind a wall, and returned with a cart containing my product. I left.
Terrible experience? Nope. Pleasant and positive? Nope — and I own that.
What is driving this Coronavirus “crotchety-ness”? Fear and uncertainty? Employment and money worries? The ever-changing government edicts? Social Media wars and mask-shaming? People working from home for the first time? Kids out of school since March? The current “will-schools-open-or-not” chaos? Far fewer entertainment options for kids and adults? Is life now just less … fun?
I suppose the answer is …”all of the above.” Agree?
Am I Leading?
Truth: I can only control how I think, feel, and act. So, if I’ve been acting like Oscar the Grouch, is today the day I speak lovingly, kindly, and patiently to the people I live, work, and do business with?
For accountable people, today is that day. I can choose to be a leader by disciplining my thinking. By taking captive my negative thoughts, I will be a better me.
Do you need to change your thoughts right now? Only you — and those around you — can answer that question.
Have I allowed negative thinking into my life during this pandemic or have I remained a positive leader?